For the past few decades, scholars have been focusing on the causes of democratization. It is now time to devote systematic attention to analyzing the costs and benefits that democracy brings.
Although 2008 was marked by democratic setbacks as well as authoritarian “pushback” against reformers, democracy remains the only system of government that commands global respect.
The secularization hypothesis has failed, and failed spectacularly. We must find a new paradigm to help us understand the complexities of the relationship between religion and democracy.
Change may be caused more by the frailty of the regime than the strength of the opposition, but in such cases the outcome is often less democratic.
Western pressure can be decisive, but it is not always easy to forecast when and how it will be applied.
Authoritarian weakness alone cannot explain why the mobilization process during the color revolutions assumed similar forms across varied contexts.
Structure, agency, and process all are critical in explaining the uneven pattern of electoral change in postcommunist Europe and Eurasia.
The opposition within Cuba has become more diverse as well as more unified, and the regime, despite its enduring capacity for repression, is showing signs of underlying weakness.
Although the transfer of power from Fidel to Raúl has been relatively uneventful, potential divisions within the ruling elite, especially between the military and the Party, are likely to emerge before too long.
Serbia has become a country where political contention is vigorous, but illiberal forces have shown an ability to adapt to the new conditions.