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.
Democracy-aid providers are moving away from one-size-fits-all strategies and are adapting their programs to diverse political contexts. Two distinct overall approaches to assisting democracy have emerged in response.
A decade after the handover of their city to China, Hong Kong’s “pandemocrats” remain able to stand their ground at the ballot box.
The color revolutions illustrate both the prevalence of diffusion and the potential limits of its impact on political change.
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.