Chicago Journal of International Law

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Democracies have traditionally played a very important role in the construction and operation of international law, but this role has come under some pressure with the wave of democratic erosion that began around 2006. In a book published last year, the author laid out an argument that in some cases, international law could help to bolster democracy around the world, but that role was under threat from rising authoritarianism. This Essay considers relevant developments, finding cause for optimism in Latin America, some cause for pessimism in Africa, and real risks in Europe. Cyber governance is going to be a critical terrain. Democracy’s road ahead is likely to be fraught, but the basic stance of cautious optimism is still appropriate.

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