Why are the unfree regimes of the former Soviet world proving so durable? A lack of ideology and—perhaps surprisingly—a degree of openness are proving to be not so much problems for authoritarianism as bulwarks of it.
- Portions of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's closing statement at his fraud trial on 10 November 2010. This was the second trial for Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company, who was sentenced in May 2005 to nine years in prison for fraud.
- Excerpts from the "Casablanca Call for Democracy and Human Rights," signed by participants (including civil society activists, politicians, and academics) of the conference "The Future of Democracy and Human Rights in the Arab World," held in Casablanca on 22–23 October 2010.
- Portions of an October 2010 open letter written by two dozen former officials of the People's Republic of China to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress demanding an end to censorship.
- Excerpts from the 30 September 2010 United Nations resolution establishing the first-ever special rapporteur on freedom of association and assembly.
After almost ten years of complex and costly efforts to build democracy in these two countries, where do things stand? What lay behind the critical choices that shaped events in these places, and what are their current prospects for success?