Cities Will Save Democracy, but Only If We Measure It
Is a decline in global democracy inevitable? Trust—the oil that fuels the gears of democratic government—has sunk steadily. According to Freedom House, 2018 marked the 13th consecutive year of democracy weakening worldwide. Similarly, a Gallup poll found that among the American public trust in the federal government has dropped to an all-time low of 38 percent.
While this is cause for serious concern, hope remains for global democracy to rebound thanks to cities. That same Gallup poll found that trust in local government has remained mostly in the 70th percentile since the 1970s. A similar trend can be found between the national and local levels of government in European Union countries, according to Eurobarometer.