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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.