The Pipe Dream of Undemocratic Liberalism

Article
July 2017

A look at liberal democracy’s complex historical evolution shows that elite fantasies of liberalism without democracy are ill-founded. Authoritarian legacies and democratic deficits lie at the core of trends that threaten liberal rights.

The Real Lessons of the Interwar Years

Article
July 2017

Analogies with interwar Europe are often misdirected. In the 1920s and 1930s, regime breakdowns occurred in struggling new democracies, but established democratic systems exhibited remarkable endurance. 

The Rise of Referendums: Elite Strategy or Populist Weapon?

Article
July 2017

Political elites once held referendums to fend off challenges to European integration. More recently, Euroskeptic parties have employed referendums to batter down the walls of elite consensus. But the spread of referendums threatens to undermine the legitimacy of representative democracy.

Mário Soares (1924–2017)

Article
April 2017

The Never-Boring Balkans: The Elections of 2016

Article
January 2017

Once Europe’s most painful “problem” area, the Balkans have managed to make strides toward stability, democracy, and integration into the West over the last fifteen or so years. But Moscow is becoming increasingly active in the region, and the durability of these gains should not be taken for granted.

Britain After Brexit: A Nation Divided

Article
January 2017

The referendum campaign and its aftermath have exposed fault lines between the “two Britains” that have been long in the making and that pose stark questions about national values and identity.

The Specter Haunting Europe: The Unraveling of the Post-1989 Order

Article
October 2016

What some had thought would be the “end of history” has instead turned out to be the “new world disorder.” Democratic liberalism may have no new ideological rival, but older identities are powerfully reasserting themselves.

The Specter Haunting Europe: Distinguishing Liberal Democracy’s Challengers

Article
October 2016

Liberal democracy in Europe today is under siege from a variety of political forces, but it is critical to recognize the distinctions among them.

Turkey’s Two Elections: The AKP Comes Back

Article
April 2016

In power since 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seemed as if it might be losing its hold when Turkish voters went to the polls in June 2015. Yet that “hung election” gave way to another contest in November, and the AKP came roaring back.

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.

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