Articles

Free

January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

30 Years of World Politics: What Has Changed?

Democracies are grappling with an era of transformation: Identity is increasingly replacing economics as the major axis of world politics. Technological change has deepened social fragmentation, and trust in institutions is falling. As our most basic assumptions come under question, can liberal democracy rebuild itself?

Free

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.

January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

Democracy’s Inevitable Elites

Robert Michels’s classic work on the “iron law of oligarchy” can help us to understand why there is so much dissatisfaction with representative democracy.

January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

The Instinct for Freedom

The mass protests that have taken place in 2019 in Hong Kong and elsewhere show that people’s desire for liberty cannot be extinguished.

Free

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.

January 2020, Volume 31, Issue 1

An Illiberal India?

The country’s hold on electoral democracy is firm, but its claim still to be a liberal democracy is increasingly dubious.

Free

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.