Reconsidering the “Transition Paradigm”

January 2014

Four leading experts on democracy discuss the relevance of the “transition paradigm” in light of the “Arab Spring” and other developments in the world today.

Reflections on “Governance”

October 2013

“Governance,” once merely a synonym for government, has taken on new meanings that tend to downplay the importance of the political. But can “good governance” be achieved today without the protections of liberal democracy?

Media and Democracy: The Long View

October 2012

Modern democracy was born in the era of print, and the press has been one of its essential institutions. With the decline of newspapers and the rise of new media, what are the implications for democracy?

Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Global Context

October 2011

Although the Arab revolts have a long way to go before they can be counted as gains for democracy, they do underline what is perhaps democracy’s greatest source of strength worldwide—its superior legitimacy.

The Impact of the Economic Crisis: From the G-8 to the G-20

January 2011

The financial crisis did not deal a fatal blow to any democracies, but it did hasten an erosion of the influence of the West. In the future, the balance of power among competing regime types may be decided by the emerging-market democracies.

Books in Review: The Authoritarian Challenge

October 2010

A review of Victorious and Vulnerable: Why Democracy Won in the 20th Century and How It Is Still Imperiled by Azar Gat.

Populism, Pluralism, and Liberal Democracy

January 2010

In recent years, scholars have begun to focus on the sources of "authoritarian resilience." But democracy has also shown surprising resilience, in part because the disorders to which it is prone tend to counteract each other.

Books in Review: Mistaken Identity

October 2008

A review of Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy by Natan Sharansky.

Is East-Central Europe Backsliding?

October 2007

Since its very first issue back in January 1990, the Journal of Democracy has devoted extensive coverage to the transformation in East-Central Europe that began with the sudden fall of communist regimes in 1989. Though many of the articles that we published on this region emphasized the problems and difficulties which lay in the path of democratic transition, they also recounted the undoubted advances that were being achieved. Our last systematic look at the region was published in January 2004 under the heading "Europe Moves Eastward." As that title indicates, the focus was on EU and NATO enlargement, which seemed to represent the culmination—a decade and a half after the fall of communism—of East-Central Europe's march toward democracy. Though the essays in that cluster were not without their notes of caution, the deepest concern they expressed was over the fate of those postcommunist states that were stranded "beyond the new borders" of the European Union.

Books in Review: The History of a Word

April 2006

A review of Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy, by John Dunn