Word cloud featuring lots of different words related to democracy such as participation and election
Pixabay | 905513

Guide to DEMOCRACY - A Tool for Human Rights, Peace & Development

The word democracy was created from two Greek words - ‘Demos’, meaning people or citizen, and ‘Kratos’, meaning power or rule. Our informative ➡️ platform for democracy highlights the importance of citizen participation, our individual freedoms, transparency, inclusion, and fairness.

With over 1,700 resources on the most important themes in democracy, we believe that true democracies are the key to achieving social justice, providing fundamental human rights to all citizens, securing sustainable economic and social development, and the creation of stable and peaceful international relations.

Democracy is challenged by corruption, greed, censorship, political divisions, the media, and unequal access to education, resources, and reliable information. Better world Info offers free access to key democracy news portals, websites, books, and initiatives which support democracy in these ever-challenging times. Find information on the history of democracy, enemies of democracy, and philanthropic foundations.


World map from 2015 displaying each countries political regime from full democracy to autocracy
Our World in Data | CC BY 3.0

Find information on different types of democracy – participatory, grassroots, social, and deliberative. Search through excellent democracy initiatives in your country and uncover some historic examples of what true democracy looks like.

We raise awareness and promote days such as International Day of Democracy where the global state of democracy is reviewed, and goals are recommitted to make democracy a reality for everyone, everywhere. We recommend following our excellent Twitter list on Democracy for critical analysis and updates from rights and freedom advocates, activists, NGOs, and civil rights experts.

For related topics be sure to check out our guides to Politics, Human Rights, Social Justice, Real News, and Education. We invite German speakers to visit our partner site Bessere Welt Info and the category Demokratie for 900 links to the world of democracy from a European perspective.

"Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples."

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, K'iche' Guatemalan human rights activist, feminist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.


A large group of people protest in Washington, DC with their backs to the camera. One woman hold a large white sign that reads 'We are better than this.'
Jerry Kiesewetter | CC0 1.0

Citizen Empowerment - Driving Democracy Forward

Political education and citizen engagement are essential tools in a democratic society. Learn about the famous historic initiatives that have fought for our rights such as the Occupy Movement and the Suffragettes ‘Vote for Women’ campaign.

Without informed citizens, society loses their ability to make choices in accordance with their own interests. Democracy requires active participation including voting and civic engagement.

One of the biggest challenges to democracy that we face is political apathy. For example, in the U.S. 2020 presidential election only 62% of citizens of voting age cast their ballet, this was the highest voter turnout since 1960! Levels of apathy in young people is even worse, during the UK 2019 General Election voter turnout for people aged 18-24 was just 47%.

Countries which have higher levels of democracy and freedoms produce governments which are accountable to their citizens and more responsive to their needs. An informed population can make smart political decisions.

Poor governance leaves a legacy for decades. It is a key driver of poverty, inequalityinflation, unemployment, weak economic growth, violent conflict, rights violations, and the failure of important social provisions such as healthcare and education.


Black and white photograph of the Suffragettes on their way to Boston. They surrounded by a huge crowd of supporters
Flickr | The Library of Congress

Upholding democracy in developing countries is especially important where citizens tend to be less empowered, educated, and politically engaged. Fragile states and weak governance breed corruption, repression, rights violations, and the risk of coups is greater.

Learn about key issues in democracy from a development perspective such as social accountabilitywomen’s political participation, and economic development. Open governance embraces the concepts of transparency and integrity. Through freedom of information, it ensures citizens know exactly what their government is doing. Discover the many opportunities for reform and progress including decentralisation, participatory governance, eGovernance, and much more. 


Yellow poster for World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, the day and date is written on the left hand side and the main poster is a newspaper front page with fists in the air holding microphones, pens, and a phone
Mei | Better World Info

Is Democracy for Sale? - Key Democratic Issues

Freedom of the Press?

The suppression of information is one of today's biggest threats to democracy. In countries such as North Korea, Eritrea, Russia, China, and Myanmar, citizens are intentionally left uninformed and misinformed. This type of attack on freedom of information promotes corrupt political leadership and is a violation of our rights.

Worldwide one journalist is killed every 5 days, just for bringing critical information to the public. Attacks on local journalists are often by militias and police. Those who are not killed, often face harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detention.

The cornerstones of democracy rely on transparency, impartiality, equality, and sovereignty. When repression, corruption, campaign funding by the rich, and under the table bribes to politicians are tolerated, democracy simply cannot exist.

Citizens rely on a free and independent press to relay the facts, expose injustices, and to hold those in power responsible for governmental failures. We have collated the very best Real News platforms where truth is prioritised over political narratives, propaganda, and corporate dominance. Search through our alternative media resource to find news in your country, investigative journalism, and censored and under reported stories.


IFLA infographic based on’s 2016 article "How to Spot Fake News" It gives 8 ideas on how we can try to spot fake news such as checking the source, the date, and reading beyond headlines
IFLA | CC BY 4.0

We also explore the online world of filter bubbles, fake news, and the impact of social media on democracy. Algorithms act as an information filter, and expose us to the risks of data harvesting and microtargeting of voters. The infamous case of the Cambridge-Analytica Facebook scandal exposed how democracy is compromised when we lose control of our personal data.

Learn how the hacking and disinformation group Team Jorge is under investigation for the covert manipulation of 33 presidential elections around the world. The Israeli owned private contractors used an army of fake profiles on social media to profit from the undermining of democracy. 

Net neutrality is vitally important in ensuring our rights are upheld. Famously in 2017, Trump attempted to rollback regulations allowing internet providers to block or slow down access to certain online content. An attempt which thankfully did not succeed. Find information on your digital rights, internet freedom, and the open-source movement.

The rise of Right-wing Populism, Nationalism and Fascism

The Donald Trump victory in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Brexit, the rise of Hindu Nationalism in India, the de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank by Israel, the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, and the anti-immigration and LGBTQI+ policies implemented in Hungary, are all examples of extreme right-wing narratives which undermine democracy, and work against the people and their best interests.

The notion of restoring national sovereignty breeds prejudice, ignorance, the undermining of human rights, conflict, xenophobia, and racism. The kind of leadership we have seen from Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, and Viktor Orbán have served to weaken defence mechanisms for our freedoms, the rule of law, tolerance, social institutions, and pluralism.

Military Coups and Democracy - Power vs Freedom

A major threat to democracy, coups directly undermine the democratic choices of the citizens, popular sovereignty, and majority rule. Military takeovers usually lead to the suspension of constitutional rights and liberties, disrupting the normal functioning of democratic institutions and processes.

The removal of these rights and protective mechanisms often result in autocracy, instability, fear, and violence. They are a major cause of displacement and have devastating humanitarian consequences for the people.

A coup occurs when an elected leader and their government is illegally overthrown by the military or other government elites, they are often driven by territorial disputes and internal conflicts. Coups almost always lead to greater repression and authoritarianism.

Find extensive coverage of coups in the following regions: Myanmar - Sudan - Niger - Central African Republic Mali - Burkina Faso - Yemen - Bolivia

Autocratic leaderships although not in power through force, undermine the very institutions that brought them to office. They openly embrace corruption, fraud, repression, control of the media, and undermine fair elections and democracy to remain in power.

Learn more about the shift toward authoritarianism by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Türkiye, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Xi Jinping in China, and Aleksandr Lukashenko in Belarus.

Election Guides

For reliable information on Politics search our country-by-country guide and find stand-out election resources on the UK, the U.S. and Europe. We feature important information for voters on key parties, politicians, voter suppression, dirty campaigning, falsehoods, campaign finance, and everything you need to make an informed decision. Find excellent guides to the recent controversial Thai election, and the chaos surrounding the 2023 ballot in Spain.


2022 protest in Washington, DC to support democracy and the fairness of elections. Many protesters hold signs which read 'Count every vote.'
IMG_7117a | CC BY-SA 2.0

Democracy for a Better World

Democracy leads the path to security, stability, and prosperity. By providing a free and open information platform on key political and democratic issues we hope to raise awareness and provide a space for experts and activists to network and share their knowledge.

If we remove political leaning and bias from classrooms and society, civic education can focus objectively on institutions and concepts which will foster a greater interest in politics and encourage young people to be active citizens.

Governments would become more diverse and inclusive, and election results would reflect the opinions of a wider sector of society due to higher voter turnouts. Political understanding also enables us to hold our governments accountable for poor decisions, and demand positive change.

It is proven that education and democracy are connected. Higher levels of education raises civic participation and the support for democracy over dictatorships. Revolutions are much more likely when citizens are empowered, and anti-democratic coups become less likely to succeed.

We must not allow democratic institutions to be weakened. We must fight for free and fair elections as well as peaceful transitions of power. Finally, we must ensure that journalists and whistle-blowers are protected and that their stories are heard.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” - George Washington

Author: Rachael Mellor, 03.08.23 licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on Democracy see below  ⬇️

Hot Topics

woman holding empty ballot
Freepick | CC BY-SA

2024, the election year.

Eighty countries will hold elections this year, representing 49% of the world's population - the largest number of voters in history. Described by many as a crucial test for democracy, the elections will involve some of the richest and most powerful nations, including the European Union, as well as the most populous countries and authoritarian regimes. These elections come at a time of growing concern about the state of democracy around the world, with political conflict on the rise and authoritarian leaders gaining ground.

2024, the election year.
Defend our Democracy rally - view from the back where many people hold signs about democracy
Flickr | Garry Knight

The Fight for Democracy

In every part of the world, people are fighting to preserve and defend their rights to shape their own life and make their own decisions to create a more equal society.

The Fight for Democracy
Portal GDA

Cambridge Analytica - Facebook Scandal

A major political scandal compromising democracy as we know it. In early 2018 it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people's Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes: Donald Trump (USA) and Brexit (UK). It was a game changer in the public understanding of personal data and precipitated calls for tighter regulation of tech companies' use of personal data. We have to take back control.

Cambridge Analytica - Facebook Scandal
Staue of a democracy jigsaw puzzle which can not be solved
Flickr | Sara Semelka

International Day of Democracy - September 15

This UN day promotes democracy as a universal right. It sets out to promote and strengthen the principles of democracy around the world. With democracy under threat in the United States, Turkey, Egypt, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and many other countries, it is an important day to raise awareness and campaign against corruption, dictatorships, media and citizen suppression, inequality, and the removal of voter's rights.

International Day of Democracy - September 15
Public Domain

Exemplary Politicians

For many, politics has become synonymous with deception, since every day we see examples of manipulative politicians who only want to protect their own interests. However, there are still people who see politics as a tool to achieve a common good.

Exemplary Politicians
Common rights

Citizen Empowerment

An essential element of Democracy, citizen empowerment is based on providing citizens with the ability to actively participate in the decision making affecting their community.

Citizen Empowerment
Image by Benjamin Hartwich from Pixabay

Public Access Media - Non-Commercial and Local Communication

Access to quality local journalism has never been more important in securing democracy. Our directory features real news for citizens and communities. Find examples of local news sites, radio and TV channels.

Public Access Media - Non-Commercial and Local Communication
Free Press Action Fund

Net Neutrality

On December 14, 2017, the Trump FCC voted to make network neutrality a thing of the past. Find here all the updates on this war for the freedom of the Internet.

Net Neutrality
The letters DiEM25 are written in black with 2 orange arrows pointing towards the logo
Wikimedia | Diem25

DiEM 25

The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 is a political movement that aims for a Green New Deal and to create more transparent processes in the EU decision-making.

DiEM 25

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Xiaobo Liu

China’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu was a life-time defender of freedom and democracy. He was imprisoned in 2008 for being accused of political subversion. After his death in 2017, he became a global symbol of social justice and liberty.

Featured Organisation of the Month

World Alliance for Citizen Participation

An international alliance of civil society organizations that works to strengthen citizen action & civil society throughout the world. CIVICUS has a vision for a global community consisting of active, engaged citizens committed to creating a more just and equitable world.

Featured Online Resource of the Month

Open Government Guide

The Open Government Guide is a resource that support people who work to make their governments more transparent, responsive, accountable and effective. 

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