Since ancient Greece, the problem of how to “make democracy work” has challenged theorists and practitioners. Coinciding with Fall 2020’s U.S. presidential election, Themester’s Democracy focus engaged a global interdisciplinary debate at a critical moment. At no time since the 1930s has democracy been as challenged. Global optimism over democratic transitions has given way to contestation over minority rights, democratic back-sliding, and the rise of populism. These trajectories raise concerns about the potential for an intractable democratic crisis that will affect both younger democracies and established systems.