October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

Sudan’s Uprising: The Fall of a Dictator

  • Mai Hassan
  • Ahmed Kodouda
Amid mass protests, the personalist autocracy of longtime Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir fell to an April 2019 coup. With the country now being governed by a council composed of both opposition leaders and powerful security- service coupmakers, prospects for democratization remain uncertain.

More from our October 2019 issue


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October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

Resisting State Capture in South Africa

Despite the lack of electoral turnover in ANC-ruled South Africa, the country’s successful resistance to efforts at “state capture” under former president Jacob Zuma testifies to the vitality of its democracy.

October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

The Failure of Europe’s Mainstream Parties

Beyond the commonly cited economic and cultural anxieties afflicting many Europeans, a key factor enabling the rise of populism across Europe has been the failure of mainstream parties on both the left and the right to offer clear and credible policy alternatives.

October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

The 2019 EU Elections: Moving the Center

The results of the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament—and particularly the growing influence of the populist radical right—reflect a deep transformation of European politics that can largely be traced to the “refugee crisis” of 2015–16.

Featured Podcasts

JoD Editors and Authors on the Power 3.0 Podcast

On new podcasts produced by NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, Larry Diamond discusses “China and the Global Challenge to Democracy,” and Marc F. Plattner explores “Democracy and the Illiberal Temptation.” And don’t miss conversations with recent JoD author Ronald J. Deibert on how social media may be fueling authoritarianism and with April-issue contributor Glenn Tiffert on digital censorship in China and beyond.

“Power 3.0 | Authoritarian Resurgence, Democratic Resilience” is hosted by Christopher Walker, NED Vice-President for Studies and Analysis, and, Shanthi Kalathil, Senior Director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

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In The News

The Rise and Fall of “Good Governance” Promotion

October 2019

The Embassy of Canada and the National Endowment for Democracy present the sixteenth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World, featuring Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School of Governance.


Rod Alence and Anne Pitcher on South Africa’s elections

May 2019

At the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, read Alence and Pitcher’s take on South Africa’s 8 May 2019 national elections, and stay tuned for an expanded analysis in the October 2019 JoD. Plus, read Alence’s 2004 Journal article (free through May 31) for a deeper look into the history of South Africa’s democracy.


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Fighting Terrorism: The Democracy Advantage

Despite worries that terror groups can turn open societies’ very openness against them, the numbers reveal that liberal democracies enjoy significant advantages in resisting the threat of terrorism. 

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The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Across the West, economic, demographic, and cultural shifts have spurred the rise of populists who embrace majoritarianism and popular sovereignty while showing little commitment to constitutionalism and individual liberty. 

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: The Return to Personalistic Rule

After Mao, Deng Xiaoping tried to institutionalize collective leadership, but this did not stop Xi Jinping from grasping all the levers of power.

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Populism and the Decline of Social Democracy

In both Eastern and Western Europe, social-democratic parties have shifted to the center on economic policy, not only sapping the electoral strength of these parties, but also opening up political space for the populist right.

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Polarization versus Democracy

Why do ordinary people vote to return to office undemocratic incumbents? New survey experiments in several countries suggest that many voters are willing to put their partisan interests above democratic principles—a finding that may be key to understanding democratic backsliding.