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January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

The End of History Revisited

Is liberal democracy the endpoint of history? The ongoing democratic recession, growing disaffection among citizens, and rising populism pose new challenges to this view. Yet testing Francis Fukuyama’s much-criticized thesis requires us to consider not only liberal democracy’s internal contradictions, but also those of its authoritarian rivals.

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January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

Iranians Turn Away from the Islamic Republic

Iran is in the midst of an ideological crisis. Growing numbers of Iranians are rejecting the religious underpinnings of the Supreme Leader’s rule, and turning their backs on the Islamic Republic. The regime’s only response is harsher repression—a response that will deepen the anger that is bringing everyday Iranians out into the streets.

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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.

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October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

Sudan’s Uprising: The Fall of a Dictator

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.

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July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

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.

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April 2019, Volume 30, Issue 2

Weaponizing Interpol

Globalized authoritarian regimes are increasingly abusing Interpol’s notice system to go after political opponents based abroad. These regimes seek not only to punish their critics, but also to legitimate their own acts of repression.

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October 2018, Volume 29, Issue 4

Democracy’s “Near Misses”

What factors help a democracy to survive a crisis? A study of cases in which democracy suffered a steep decline, yet ultimately recovered and endured, offers new insights. In moments of crisis, unelected and nonmajoritarian actors can play a pivotal role.

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October 2018, Volume 29, Issue 4

Understanding Authoritarian Regionalism

Taking advantage of broad global respect for regionalism, authoritarian regimes are using their own regional organizations to bolster fellow autocracies. These groupings offer a mechanism for lending legitimacy, redistributing resources, and insulating members from democratic influences.