The secularization hypothesis has failed, and failed spectacularly. We must find a new paradigm to help us understand the complexities of the relationship between religion and democracy.
Volume 20, Issue 2
The same policies that fostered decades of prosperity in Singapore have also led to longer-term economic ills that might have been averted in a freer society.
There is no consensus about the nature of the political system in Moscow today. Yet how one understands the motivations propelling Russian policy abroad depends on how one understands its regime at home.
A fan of Mario Puzo’s Godfather novels will see the Putin government for what it is: a mafia.
Arguably a flawed democracy in the 1990s, Russia took a distinctly authoritarian turn under President Vladimir Putin from 2000 to 2008. The country now lives under a façade democracy that barely conceals the political and administrative dominance of a self-interested bureaucratic corporation. The regime manufactures consent by means of three tools: information and propaganda campaigns…
Twenty years ago, there was a more thoroughgoing political pluralism in Russia than there is today. In some respects, the forms of democracy-including party consolidation-have been enhanced, but they have been so manipulated as to deprive them of substance. Either “electoral authoritarianism” of “multiparty authoritarianism” (Juan Linz’s terms) may reasonably be applied to contemporary Russia,…
The corporatist kleptocracy being erected by Russian President Vladimir Putin is profoundly misunderstood in the West. This model dooms Russia to economic degradation and margin-alization. The current global crisis has made this truth painfully clear. The artificially created image of a threatening West (and U.S. in particular) is now becoming the sole ideological justification for…
Of all of the national republics that emerged out of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has had the most profound difficulties in determining its national identity. What is the essence of being Russian, and where are the boundaries of the “Russian World”? There has never been a Russian national identity that was anything…
In contrast to authoritarian power structures, which rest on a form of bureaucratic corporatism that makes the leader its hostage, the regime in Moscow rests on personalized power, something that signals a return to the traditional Russian political matrix. The regime has fused power and property in a manner that makes the oligarchs utterly dependent…
The regime in Moscow mixes key features of a capitalist economy with a political system wherein power is monopolized by a close-knit professional and age cohort whose members often have a background in the secret police. Instead of seeking to base its legitimacy on broad-based, transpersonal institutions with character and integrity of their own, the…
Since Vladimir Putin’s rise to power at the end of the 1990s, siloviki—the people who work for, or used to work for, Russia’s “ministries of force” have spread to posts throughout all the branches of power in Russia.
The image of Putin’s Russia as an authoritarian oil state attracts many Western analysts because it seems to carry a promise that falling oil prices will bring regime change. Thus, many were convinced that a major economic crisis would force the Kremlin either to open up the system and allow more pluralism and competition, or…
Will Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 15 February 2009 vote to end term limits enable him to drive Venezuela toward “Bolivarian socialism”? There are reasons to doubt this, but for now democracy’s prospects do not look encouraging.
Although 2008 was marked by democratic setbacks as well as authoritarian “pushback” against reformers, democracy remains the only system of government that commands global respect.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization played a key role in safeguarding Western democracy during the Cold War. With that conflict over, NATO must continually adapt and evolve in a fast-changing world.
For the past few decades, scholars have been focusing on the causes of democratization. It is now time to devote systematic attention to analyzing the costs and benefits that democracy brings.
Ghana held its fourth successful elections in late 2008 and subsequently witnessed the peaceful handover of power from ruling party to opposition. The country’s leaders must now reform its institutions of governance.
In February 2008, Kosovo broke away from Serbia and declared its independence. But to what extent is it making progress toward its goals of sovereignty and democracy?
A review of Conversations with Tocqueville: The Global Democratic Revolution in the Twenty-First Century edited by Aurelian Craiutu and Sheldon Gellar and Tocqueville et les frontières de la démocratie by Nestor Capdevila.
Reports on elections in Bangladesh, El Salvador, and Ghana.
Excerpts from: Charter 08, an open letter calling for a political system in China based on human rights and democracy; an ECOWAS statement condemning the military coup in Guinea; the inauguration speech of new Ghanaian president John Evans; statements issued commending the conduct of Iraq’s January 31 provincial elections.