We’ve all become accustomed to essays and op-eds considering the future of democracy, written from 30,000 feet and with too few specifics and too many generalities. But democracy as practiced, lived, even protected, can be local and messy. It constantly intersects with other policy problems, and its survival depends not on abstract tides of history but on specific decisions that specific leaders make. To that end, we have assembled this symposium on the future of global democracy, with support from the Open Society Foundations, that examines the challenges from some surprising directions. We wanted to give a view of democratic opportunities and threats, large and small. In this symposium, you’ll find authors ranging from the former mayor of Ithaca, New York to the current vice president of Colombia, and issues ranging from the role of American secretaries of state to the future of refugee flows. (And yes, where the United States and China stand.) We know you’ll find a new perspective in each.