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October 2022, Volume 33, Issue 4

The Politics of Enemies

Democracy’s meaning has always been contested. Letting that struggle become a battle between existential foes risks upending the whole democratic project.

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July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: The Massacre’s Long Shadow

In the two decades since the Tiananmen massacre, China has enjoyed rapid economic growth and a measure of political stability. Recently, however, various forms of popular protest have been increasing. Do they represent a potentially serious threat to CCP rule?

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July 2014, Volume 25, Issue 3

Gay Rights: Why Democracy Matters

The year 2013 featured unprecedented strides for gay rights in some parts of the world, particularly in Western Europe and the Americas, but also startling setbacks elsewhere, as in Russia and some countries in Africa.

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July 2022, Volume 33, Issue 3

How Zelensky Has Changed Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky is far more than a brave wartime leader. He began changing the tenor and direction of Ukrainian politics long before the people made him their president.

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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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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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April 2010, Volume 21, Issue 2

Democracy and Deep Divides

How do democracies deal with the deep divisions created by race, ethnicity, religion, and language? The cases of Canada, India, and the United States show that democratic institutions—notably, competitive elections and independent judiciaries—can bridge divides and build stability, but they must find a way to manage the tension between individual and group equality.

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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 2020, Volume 31, Issue 2

Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear

The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the corrupt and rotten core of the Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorial rule over China. It is a moment of revelation. Can it also become one that leads to change?

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January 2018, Volume 29, Issue 1

Burma: Suu Kyi’s Missteps

Despite high hopes for progress toward democracy, the military’s power remains stubbornly entrenched, while Aung San Suu Kyi seems to lack the skills to run the government effectively.