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.
A few years ago, Europe’s most important intergovernmental human-rights institution, the Council of Europe, crossed over to the dark side. Like Dorian Gray, the dandy in Oscar Wilde’s story of moral decay, it sold its soul. And as with Dorian Gray, who retained his good looks, the inner decay of the Council of Europe remains hidden from view.
The year 2013 featured unprecedented strides for gay rights in some parts of the world, particularly in Western Europe and the Americas, but also startling setbacks elsewhere, as in Russia and some countries in Africa.
The response of the Chinese state (and of Chinese society at large) to the problems of the country’s periphery—Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia, as well as hundreds of counties, prefectures, and townships in Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and other areas—is piling more tension and misery upon the populations there, but it is not undermining state power.
In emerging democracies and postconflict countries, improved policing is almost always urgently required. Yet international-assistance efforts in this area pay almost no attention to the crucial need to ensure that the new-model police are not only effective, but democracy-friendly.
When students and other rights activists decided to seize a tactical opening that the regime cynically offered them during the 2009 campaign, they were making a choice that was even more fateful than they knew.
The Islamic Republic is struggling, with the Revolutionary Guard Corps more and more the only thing propping it up.
Iran’s massive protest movement against June’s electoral coup is now moving into a new phase. What are its prospects?
Latin American social policy has at times worked backwards, widening rather than narrowing economic and social inequalities. But new conditional cash-transfer programs seem to be producing positive outcomes.
A review of Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention by Gary J. Bass.