Every country in the world has some form of parliament. Parliamentary systems fall into two categories: bicameral and unicameral. Out of 193 countries in the world, 79 are bicameral and 113 are unicameral, making a total of 272 chambers of parliament with over 46,000 members of parliament. IPU membership is made up of 179 national parliaments. Discover the world's national
The IPU has been collecting data on parliaments since its inception in 1889, including information on women’s participation in politics since 1945. In this section, discover the IPU's knowledge bank for and about parliaments.
With a rising number of authoritarian and repressive regimes, attacks on parliaments and electoral dissatisfaction with traditional political parties and processes around the world, it seems that democracy has never been more fragile.
But is it really in crisis? Can democracy rebound and still deliver for the people? How can parliaments and parliamentarians better connect with the people they are supposed to represent? Or do we need new forms of democracy that are more open and participative?
To answers these questions and many more, the IPU put together a virtual panel of pre-eminent thinkers on democracy for 90 minutes of discussion and debate on 15 September 2021, International Day of Democracy.
Hélène Landemore is Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where she teaches political theory. She is the author of Democratic Reason (Princeton University Press: 2013, Spitz prize 2015); and Open Democracy (Princeton University Press 2020).
Jan-Werner Mueller is Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University. His books include Democracy Rules (2021) and What is Populism? (2016), which has been translated into 25 languages. He regularly writes for The Guardian and the London Review of Books.
Martin Chungong made double history in 2014 by becoming the first African and first non-European to be elected as IPU Secretary General. He has more than three decades of experience and knowledge of parliaments at national and international levels. He has dedicated his professional life to promoting and building democracy worldwide.
With guest speaker U Aung Kyi Nyunt – Head of the Committee Representing the Hluttaw (Myanmar Parliament elected in November 2020)
Moderation by Ravi Agrawal, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade, including as the network’s New Delhi bureau chief and correspondent. He has shared a Peabody Award and three Emmy nominations for his work as a TV producer.