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. 

Tanzania: Shrinking Space and Opposition Protest

Article
July 2017

Since Tanzania’s 2015 elections, rising repression and opposition protest have displaced an older dynamic of comparatively restrained and unchallenged dominance by the ruling party. 

Nicaragua: A Return to Caudillismo

Article
April 2017

With the ruling FSLN’s one-sided triumph in the November 2016 elections, Nicaraguan democracy underwent further erosion. The emerging authoritarian party-state, far from being a leftist revolutionary government, is becoming a neopatrimonial dictatorship in an older Latin American style.

Jordan and Morocco: The Palace Gambit

Article
April 2017

Two of the Arab world’s more liberal regimes, the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, are sometimes said to be evolving toward democracy. Is this true, and what are the longer-term prospects for these two monarchies?

The Freedom House Survey for 2016: The Dual Threat of Populists and Autocrats

Article
April 2017

In 2016, established democracies figured prominently on the list of countries experiencing declines in freedom, while emboldened autocracies stepped up their repression at home and interference abroad. 

Turkey: How the Coup Failed

Article
January 2017

When parts of the Turkish military attempted a coup in July 2016, the competitive authoritarian AKP regime was able to bring both its competitive and its authoritarian features to bear, stopping the coup and launching a crackdown.

The Signs of Deconsolidation

Article
January 2017

Political scientists have long assumed that “democratic consolidation” is a one-way street, but survey evidence of declining support for democracy from across the established democracies suggests that deconsolidation is a genuine danger.

The Specter Haunting Europe: Populism and Protest in Poland

Article
October 2016

Once the poster child for successful postcommunist transitions to democracy, Poland is now governed by populist nationalists. What happened?

Transition in China? More Likely Than You Think

Article
October 2016

Evidence from social science and history suggests that China is entering a “transition zone” that will threaten its capacity to maintain both authoritarian rule and high levels of economic growth.

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