Volume: 
29
Issue: 
2

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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China in Xi’s “New Era”: A Play for Global Leadership

It has long been hoped that China would be integrated into the liberal world order. That particular “China dream” has ended, however, as Beijing seeks to reshape the world order, with itself at the center.

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: Redefining Development

China has emerged as a key player in development assistance, challenging the mainstream development community’s emphasis on good governance.  

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: Overstepping Down Under

Australia has been an early target of China’s efforts to buy influence and suppress critical voices, but it has begun mounting a serious defense.

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: New Zealand and the CCP’s "Magic Weapons"

The Chinese Communist Party has been using New Zealand as a testing ground for its strategy of building influence through “united front work.”

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: Singapore and Goliath?

Despite its tiny size, Singapore has shown that a firm stance can help to resist Chinese encroachment. 

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: Forging a New "Eastern Bloc”

Through its “16+1” initiative, China is building relationships with postcommunist Europe that could threaten to undermine the European Union.

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: A Neglected Democratic Heritage

Despite current trends, Chinese thinkers friendly to human rights and liberal democracy have left behind a treasury of thought from which their country may one day draw new inspiration.

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The Undemocratic Dilemma

The ability of liberal democracies around the world to translate popular views into public policy has been declining. Yet there is no easy way to overcome this trend without weakening the capacity of governments to solve some of the most pressing challenges of the coming decades.

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Brazil: The Costs of Multiparty Presidentialism

The massive corruption revealed by Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” points to fundamental flaws in multiparty presidential systems, where presidents must find ways to build coalitions in fragmented legislatures. 

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The Freedom House Survey for 2017: Democracy Beleaguered

In 2017, the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world sunk to its lowest point in more than a decade. While the democratic powers grappled with their own internal problems, leading autocrats expanded their global efforts to undermine democratic institutions.

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Macedonia: A New Beginning?

This small Balkan country has been plagued with crises of identity both internal and external. But recent developments, including a democratic change of government via the ballot box, have created an opportunity to find a better path. 

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Kenya’s Electoral Misfire

Sophisticated technology could not keep Kenya’s August 2017 presidential election from leading to renewed ethnic tensions and a painful standoff from which the country appears only now to be emerging. What went wrong?

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Iran’s Exclusionary Republic

A review of Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa.

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Election Watch

Reports on elections in Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Russia, and Sierra Leone.

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Documents on Democracy

Inaugural address by Liberian president George Weah; open letter by Iranian activists and intellectuals; testimony by China analyst Clive Hamilton before the Australian Parliament's Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. 

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News and Notes

Forum Report on “Sharp Power”; Hong Kong Democracy Activists Released; Democracy and Development in West Africa; Geneva Summit for Human Rights; Honoring Boris Nemtsov; NED’s International Forum

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