Today, twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is a growing ambiguity about the historical significance of 1989 and about the state of democracy in Europe (particularly Central Europe).
Another coauthor of Transitions from Authoritarian Rule questions whether his former collaborator is underrating the current dangers to democracy.
In the twenty years since 1989, acute excitement over democratic transition and consolidation gave way to symptoms of “democracy fatigue” and elite exhaustion; successful economic transition away from state socialism fell victim to a crisis of the free-market model; and the EU’s transformative power has reached its geopolitical limits. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe successfully imitated a model that is now in crisis. Like the rest of the world, they currently find themselves in search of a new democratic paradigm.
The country's long-ruling party has never faced a serious electoral challenge—due not only to opposition weakness but also to a deliberate strategy of suppression.
As countries emerge from war and embark on recovery, the risk of corruption is high and the consequences are dire. International aid must be accompanied by an anticorruption strategy that incorporates community-driven accountability.
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been struggling to devise approaches to political economy that can bring stability, prosperity, and a measure of equality in a world dominated by global finance and exchange.
Jordan gets much good press for having one of the more open and liberal regimes in the Arab world, but that reputation masks a considerably grimmer reality.
Parliamentary elections in 2008 secured the MPLA's hegemony and decimated the opposition, while paradoxically increasing the government's legitimacy.
Legislative elections in the Middle East often become contests over patronage and wind up reinforcing authoritarian regimes.
Due to weak opposition parties and presidential dominance, many African countries have not reaped the full benefits of regularly held elections.