Due to weak opposition parties and presidential dominance, many African countries have not reaped the full benefits of regularly held elections.
Evidence suggests that under some circumstances repeated elections, even if flawed, can lead to democratization.
In February 2008, Kosovo broke away from Serbia and declared its independence. But to what extent is it making progress toward its goals of sovereignty and democracy?
Ghana held its fourth successful elections in late 2008 and subsequently witnessed the peaceful handover of power from ruling party to opposition. The country’s leaders must now reform its institutions of governance.
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.