At its core, “democracy” means a political system where all citizens have a say in how they are governed. There are many different opinions on what constitutes democracy and what democracy delivers for average citizens. At CIPE, we believe that economic development is inseparable from democracy — free markets cannot thrive without a functioning democracy, and democracy cannot fully function unless small businesses and entrepreneurs have a voice.

Some questions to consider:

  • How do you view democracy in your country?
  • Do you consider your country democratic?
  • What makes democracy work — or not work — in your country?
  • What are the main barriers to achieving democracy?
  • How do you hold public officials accountable once they have been elected?
  • How do authoritarian leaders undermine democratic institutions?