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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having thrown out a corrupt, authoritarian president for the second time, this Central Asian republic has gained a new chance at securing a real democratic transition.
Strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s suspiciously lopsided 2010 electoral victory—and subsequent crackdown on dissent—may seem like a repeat of the events of 2006, but much has changed in the interval, and his regime is much more precarious today.