A quarter-century after the classic study The Crisis of Democracy was published, three distinguished political scientists find that, though the “crisis” may have disappeared, public confidence is on the decline in almost all the world’s advanced democracies.
Volume 11, Issue 2
Trouble in the Advanced Democracies?
With Austria’s and Switzerland’s leading political parties having “rigged the political marketplace” by forming Grand Coalitions, voters have turned to the radical right as the only available alternative.
Recent disappointments have led to excessive pessimism about Latin America’s economic and democratic prospects. International recognition of the region’s diversity and a sense of perspective about its setbacks will improve its chances for further success.
The most striking thing about Fernando de la Rua’s presidential victory in Argentina was the routine-even boring-character of the elections. This turn toward normalization is a major break with the past.
The unexpectedly strong showing of media-savvy rightist candidate Joaquín Lavín in the 1999 presidential elections and the move to the center by Concertación candidate Ricardo Lagos suggest that Chile has begun to put the ghosts of Allende and Pinochet to rest.
Lavín’s strong showing did not represent an “earthquake” or a dramatic change in the electoral landscape. Voting patterns have remained basically unchanged since 1988, giving Lagos a clear mandate to lead Chile into the next millennium.
In the November 1999 presidential election, Uruguayans reaffirmed their strong commitment to democracy, while adjusting to a set of constitutional reforms that profoundly altered the electoral system.
A country's political regime, regardless of its level of development, affects its social performance. Fewer children die in democracies than in dictatorships.
Nowhere else has the impact of international factors on democratization been as apparent as in Central and Eastern Europe. Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures is one particularly strong democratizing force.
The political dimensions of the 1997-99 Asian financial crisis have been largely ignored. Yet political factors are crucial to understanding the crisis and the differing ways in which the democracies and authoritarian regimes in the region responded to it.
A major question in the consolidation of Eastern Europe’s new democracies is whether women will participate fully in the political process. One key indicator is the representation of women in the region’s parliaments.
Since its establishment in 1964, the Press Union of Liberia has championed the right of journalists to report freely on events in Liberia and abroad. Political setbacks continue to put it to the test.
A review of Francois Furet's last book, The Passing of an Illusion.