The democratic malaise Democracy is a variable not a constant. It perpetually reinvents and adapts itself as political demands upon it change and as standards of democratic conduct rise. Democratic practices that were acceptable in the late twentieth century may now be poorly adapted to modern circumstances. Globalization, emerging forms of international and transnational government, a shifting balance of centralization and decentralization, the accelerating pace of economic and technological change, shifts in the role and power of the nation state, the threat of terrorism, new forms of communication, and waves of international migration and increasing social diversity all present democracy with new problems.