Oct 25, 2023
This month is Canadian Library Month, and OPL’s theme is “Your Library, your democracy.”
While the story of democracy goes back to Plato and the Greeks, it has become the world's predominant form of government in only the past quarter of a century. There were 11 democracies in 1900, 29 in 1974 and by 2006, the number of democracies increased to 86. But according to numerous reports, Democracy is confronting a global crisis. For the first time in more than two decades, the world has more dictatorships than liberal democracies with 12 consecutive years of decreasing levels of political rights and civil liberties across the globe. This decline in democracy has been marked by an increase in the polarization of opinion and calls for censorship of diverse voices. There has been a propagation of misinformation and propaganda, often targeting equity-deserving groups.
In recent years there has been an outpouring of writing on democracy, its discontents and solutions for moving forward. More than ever, it is important to learn more about democracy, or better yet, several stories to understand how present-day democracy was achieved. Here are a few reading suggestions.