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Why the Next Democracy Summit Must Go Beyond Civil Society Support

Katya Rimkunas and Patrick Quirk argue in the National Interest for why political parties should be better included in the efforts and commitments of the Summit for Democracy process. The authors contend that the current format offers too narrow of a solution, focussed disproportionately on supporting civil society and countering corruption without the requisite reforms to strengthen the very institutions that found democracy. Political parties play a central role in our democracies, but have been remarkably absent from the Summit for Democracy process and commitments. The authors suggest three actions, which could be adopted as Summit commitments, to reinforce the importance of political parties for democratic renewal:

  1. Democracy supporters should direct more funding to help new political parties that have emerged out of pro-democracy movements or in response to dissatisfaction with traditional parties. This help should take the form of training and capacity building for these entities.
  2. The United States should prioritise support for political parties in its Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal. Support should help parties in modernising their digital operations.
  3. Democracy supporters should cultivate the political and strategic skills of political parties and their leaders.

Read the full article here in the National Interest.