Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Global Context

Although the Arab revolts have a long way to go before they can be counted as gains for democracy, they do underline what is perhaps democracy’s greatest source of strength worldwide—its superior legitimacy.


Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Lessons of 1989

The Arab events of 2011 may have some similarities to the wave of popular upheavals against authoritarianism that swept the Soviet bloc starting in 1989, but the differences are much more fundamental.

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Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Role of the Military

Across the Arab world, militaries have played a key role in determining whether revolts against dictatorship succeed or fail. What factors determine how and why “the guys with guns” line up the way they do?

PDF icon Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Role of the Military

Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Impact of Election Systems

Methods of electing legislatures are fraught with consequences for the shape and quality of democracy, and must balance a number of competing goals. Amid the current political ferment of the Arab world, what kinds of electoral systems are emerging and what will they mean for democratic hopes there?


Comparing the Arab Revolts: Is Saudi Arabia Immune?

Saudi Arabia looked for a time in early 2011 as if it too would become swept up in the Arab uprising. Yet it never quite happened—why?


Nigeria Votes: More Openness, More Conflict

Nigeria’s 2011 presidential election offered its citizens the most competitive and transparent contest in decades, but also the bloodiest.


Peru’s 2011 Elections: A Vote for Moderate Change

Despite the presidential victory of Ollanta Humala, Peru’s 2011 elections had some continuities with the 2006 contest. The electorate is dividing along regional and socioeconomic rather than partisan lines.


Peru’s 2011 Elections: A Surprising Left Turn

In a runoff between candidates with dubious democratic credentials, former antisystem outsider Ollanta Humala defeated Keiko Fujimori by attracting votes from the middle class.


Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Reluctant India

Though justly vaunted as the world’s largest democracy, India will in all likelihood remain reluctant to take on the mantle of “democracy promoter” for a mix of historical, ideological, and strategic reasons.

PDF icon Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Reluctant India

Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Indonesia Finds a New Voice

Since its transition to democracy barely a decade ago, Indonesia has begun projecting its newly democratic values across international borders. So far, however, its efforts have been largely rhetorical.


Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Turkey’s Dilemmas

Long an “ultrarealist” power, Turkey has over the last decade begun taking human rights and democracy more seriously as aspects of its diplomacy, albeit still in a decidedly selective way.


Do New Democracies Support Democracy? The Multilateral Dimension

When it comes to backing democracy and human rights in international forums, the behavior of the world’s six most influential rising democracies ranges from sympathetic support to borderline hostility.


Singapore: Authoritarian but Newly Competitive

Singapore has long been known for combining economic development with strict limits on political opposition. But its 2011 parliamentary elections suggest that it is moving toward “competitive authoritarianism.”


Books in Review: Fukuyama’s Grand Vision

A review of The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama.


Election Watch: October 2011

Reports on recent elections in Cape Verde, Macedonia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey.


Documents on Democracy: October 2011

  • Excerpts from a statement issued by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and 35 other Egyptian human-rights organizations condemning the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' campaign against the country's civil society organizations and human-rights groups.
  • Excerpt from a statement by two top EU officials on the August 5 arrest of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko during her trial for "abuse of power."
  • Portions of a June 15 address given by Mongolian president Tsakhia Elbegdorj at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on the eve of Mongolia's assumption of the presidency of the Community of Democracies.
  • Excerpts from the OAS resolution "Promotion of the Rights to Freedom of Assembly and of Association in the Americas," passed on June 7.
  • Excerpts from a speech given by the former president of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, noting the country's difficulties in achieving peace.
  • Excerpts from the inaugural address of Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the new prime minister (Kalon Tripa) of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.