The Puzzle of the Chinese Middle Class

Seymour Martin Lipset argued that economic development would enlarge the middle class, and that the middle class would support democracy. To what extent will this general proposition prove true of China?

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Latin America’s New Turbulence: Can Democracy Win in Venezuela?

Venezuela’s competitive authoritarian regime now confronts a highly mobilized opposition with a large majority in the legislature. What are the prospects for successful democratic change amidst a deteriorating security situation and an economy in freefall?


Latin America's New Turbulence: The End of the Kirchner Era

With a skillfully conveyed message of managerial competence and an electorate disenchanted by a floundering economy and the outgoing incumbent’s confrontational style, Mauricio Macri demonstrated that a non-Peronist can win Argentina’s presidency.


Latin America's New Turbulence: Crisis and Integrity in Brazil

Public anger at revelations of widespread corruption, along with the rising cost of coalition politics, has brought Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to the brink of impeachment. Yet the crisis has also revealed the strength of the country’s law-enforcement and judicial institutions.

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Latin America’s New Turbulence: Mexico’s Stalled Reforms

The long-ruling PRI staged a comeback in 2012 behind a young president touting a reformist agenda, but Enrique Peña Nieto’s early successes have been eclipsed by government underperformance and a continued failure to restore public security.

Latin America’s New Turbulence: Trouble in the “Northern Triangle”

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are weighed down by high crime, sluggish economies, and heavy reliance on remittances. And when significant political change has taken place, it has resulted in frightening political fragmentation.


The Freedom House Survey for 2015: Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democrats

In 2015, the tenth consecutive year of decline in global freedom, the world was battered by overlapping crises, spurring harsh authoritarian crackdowns and revealing the leading democracies’ lack of conviction.


Burma Votes for Change: The Challenges Ahead

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept Burma’s November 2015 elections. Will the new NLD-led government be able to live up to high expectations that it will deliver better governance, national reconciliation, and some form of federalism?

PDF icon Burma Votes for Change: The Challenges Ahead

Burma Votes for Change: The New Configuration of Power

Even though Burma’s military seems to have accepted the NLD’s stunning election victory, it can still use an array of constitutional provisions to hamstring the incoming NLD government.

Burma Votes for Change: Clashing Attitudes Toward Democracy

What does public opinion tell us about Burma’s longer-term prospects for democracy? The Asian Barometer Survey reveals contradictory attitudes regarding democracy and democratic values among the citizens of Burma.


Turkey’s Two Elections: The AKP Comes Back

In power since 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seemed as if it might be losing its hold when Turkish voters went to the polls in June 2015. Yet that “hung election” gave way to another contest in November, and the AKP came roaring back.


The Struggle for Subnational Democracy

Ten of the world’s twelve largest countries are “electoral democracies.” Yet a look at politics beneath the national level reveals patterns of illiberalism that mark out a new frontier for democratic research and activism.

Making Democratic Waves

A review of Making Waves: Democratic Contention in Europe and Latin America Since the Revolutions of 1848 by Kurt Weyland.

Election Watch

Reports on elections in Benin, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Haiti, Iran, Jamaica, Niger, Samoa, Seychelles, Slovakia, Taiwan, Uganda, Vanuatu.


Documents on Democracy

  • Excerpts from the inaugural address of newly elected Argentine president Mauricio Macri.
  • Excerpts from comments to the media made by the DPP's Tsai Ing-wen upon learning she had won Taiwan's presidential election.
  • Excerpts from a communiqué produced at a February conference of governance experts and former Latin American heads of state, organized by Forum 2000 and the Arias Foundation.



News and Notes

Geneva Summit on Human Rights; Human Rights in North Korea; Democratic Governance in Latin America; Transparency in Angola; African Female Leaders Honored; Errata; International Forum