What is the future for global cooperation on democracy?

March 13, 2023

In March the second Summit for Democracy (S4D) will be held, as debates intensify about the place of international democracy support in the new geopolitical landscape. After overseeing two of these summits, the US may now step back from leading this embryonic process of coordination between global democracies. This raises questions about the future of the summit process and how strong democracies’ political interest is in deepening cooperation. While the summit process has usefully kickstarted dialogue among democracies on a number of issues, it has not yet gained a clear and high-level political profile.

This policy brief assesses the state of play in global democratic cooperation and suggests how it might be best developed after the second summit in March 2023. The strategic need for democratic coordination remains strong but its form must be rethought if it is to endure and prove itself relevant to the challenges facing global democracy.

This brief offers an analysis of the topic in the following chapters:

  • Assessment of the S4D process
  • Geopolitical change
  • Shared leadership
  • A shift to civil society
  • Conclusion

Special thanks to the authors of this brief: Richard Youngs (Coordinator), Idayat Hassan, Maiko Ichihara, Julia Keutgen, Sook Jong Lee, and Constanza Mazzina.