Central Asia’s Globalized Despots

Article
July 2017

A review of Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia by Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw.

Turkmenistan: Grasping for Legitimacy

Article
July 2017

Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov attempted to use sham democratic elections in February 2017 to bolster his legitimacy both at home and abroad. 

25 Years After the USSR: What’s Gone Wrong?

Article
July 2016

A quarter-century after the Soviet breakup, democracy has hardly fared well across the vast Eurasian landmass. Why has this seemingly promising gain for freedom produced such disappointing results?

The Quest for Good Governance: Georgia’s Break with the Past

Article
January 2016

Much can be done to uproot graft when a major event such as the Rose Revolution sweeps in a determined new team on a wave of massive public support.

Europe and Azerbaijan: The End of Shame

Article
July 2015

A few years ago, Europe’s most important intergovernmental human-rights institution, the Council of Europe, crossed over to the dark side. Like Dorian Gray, the dandy in Oscar Wilde’s story of moral decay, it sold its soul. And as with Dorian Gray, who retained his good looks, the inner decay of the Council of Europe remains hidden from view.

Russia’s Political System: Imperialism and Decay

Article
January 2015

The system of personalized power that has long ruled Russia now faces a new crisis, and it is trying to avert decay through the reassertion of empire.

Georgian Democracy: Seizing or Losing the Chance?

Article
January 2014

A year after the election that ended the rule of president Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement, Georgia has seen further remarkable developments that raise key questions for struggling postcommunist democracies and, indeed, democracies everywhere. 

What Can Constitutions Do? The Afghan Case

Article
January 2014

January 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of Afghanistan’s constitution. In what areas has it succeeded or failed? Judging by its achievements with respect to four midrange goals, the document has a record that is decidedly mixed.

Pages