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.
Can outside actors help Hungarians to loosen Fidesz’s centralized grip on all of their country’s governing institutions?
The financial crisis did not deal a fatal blow to any democracies, but it did hasten an erosion of the influence of the West. In the future, the balance of power among competing regime types may be decided by the emerging-market democracies.
Why do election monitors sometimes issue contradictory statements or endorse flawed elections? The answers are not always straightforward; in some cases, the monitors’ good intentions may undermine their credibility.
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.
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.
A coauthor of the pathbreaking study Transitions from Authoritarian Rule reflects on the lessons that he has learned about democratic transition and consolidation since the publication of this work nearly 25 years ago.
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.
In April 2008, disputed election results in the tiny state of Moldova sparked violent protests and a harsh response from state authorities.
A review of Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention by Gary J. Bass.