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Like liberals in the British East India Company more than a century ago, European and international officials have become stewards of a people's fate. The intentions are good, but will self-government result?KnausandMartin.pdf
Politics in the Arab Middle East is often a matter of powerholders first liberalizing — and then "deliberalizing" — public life in order to first maintain their rule. But this "survival strategy" is a dead end.Dan_Brumberg.pdf
Must countries where authoritarian regimes have fallen therefore be "in transition" to democracy? Many democracy promoters seem to think so. Yet trends on the ground in country after country are raising doubts about whether it is true or useful to think of democracy's prospects in this way.The End of the Transition Paradigm
In the summer of 1997, I was asked by a leading Japanese newspaper what I thought was the most important thing that had happened in the twentieth century. I found this to be an unusually thought-provoking question, since so many things of gravity have happened over the last hundred years. The European empires, especially the British and French ones that had so dominated the nineteenth century, came to an end. We witnessed two world wars. We saw the rise and fall of fascism and Nazism. The century witnessed the rise of communism, and its fall (as in the former Soviet bloc) or radical transformation (as in China). We also saw a shift from the economic dominance of the West to a new economic balance much more dominated by Japan and East and Southeast Asia. Even though that region is going through some financial and economic problems right now, this is not going to nullify the shift in the balance of the world economy that has occurred over many decades (in the case of Japan, through nearly the entire century). The past hundred years are not lacking in important events.
Review of Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (1994).Book Review of Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom