Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Mel Pavlik is filling in for Candace Rondeaux.
The week before Sudan’s military leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, arrested his country’s prime minister and seized power in a coup d’etat, U.S. President Joe Biden finalized the invitation list for his upcoming Summit for Democracy. The summit, claimed administration officials, aimed to counterbalance powerful autocracies such as Russia and China, and “galvanize democratic renewal worldwide.”
The world is a far cry from anything resembling democratic renewal. To the contrary, democracy is threatened on multiple fronts: not only by illegal seizures of power by military strongmen, as in Sudan, but by more subtle power shifts that subvert the will of the people. While Sudan did not make Biden’s summit guest list, countries such as Poland and the Philippines were included, despite experiencing dramatic democratic backsliding in recent years.