“The Age of Political Fragmentation”

The Journal of Democracy has published this new essay of mine. Whether we look to the internal factional struggles currently taking place in the Democratic Party, or the most recent German elections that required putting together a coalition of three different political parties with conflicting views in order to be able to form a government, the democracies of the West are experiencing what I characterize as political fragmentation that makes delivering effective government all the more difficult.

The article can be found here, and this is the short abstract for the essay. I will soon post a much fuller analysis of these issues:

The deepest challenge to Western democracies in recent years is “political fragmentation.” This fracturing of political power into so many different parties and groups makes it difficult for democratic governments to deliver effective governance. A force driving this fragmentation is the communications revolution, which poses a more profound challenge to political authority than is generally recognized. Fragmentation reflects popular beliefs that governments are failing to address the major issues of the day. But fragmentation also makes it all the more difficult for those governments to act. Democracies must figure out how to meet this challenge, lest their inability to deliver on the issues that their citizens find most urgent leads to further distrust, alienation, and anger—or worse.

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