China’s fast economic rise has not dented its dictatorship, but Xi Jinping’s neo-Stalinist strategy has unleashed new challenges and tensions for the Communist Party’s long-term prospects for survival.
Volume 32, Issue 2
The military could not bear Aung San Suu Kyi’s enduring popularity and her party’s continued success at the polls. But the generals may have miscalculated how much the people detest them.
The outsized power of large internet platforms to amplify or silence certain voices poses a grave threat to democracy. Finding a reliable way to dilute that power offers the best possible solution.
The year 2020 saw the global weakening of democratic norms reinforced by authoritarian influence campaigns, crackdowns on protest movements, and the use and abuse of new powers adopted in the name of responding to the covid-19 pandemic.
With brutal resolve, the ruling party sought not merely to win an election, but to annihilate the opposition. Now, with President John Magufuli gone, that strategic rationale will likely only grow stronger.
While many blamed President John Magufuli for throwing the country off its democratizing track, the truth is that the party that has ruled Tanzania for six decades has always been authoritarian.
Longtime president Yoweri Museveni, his ruling party, and his increasingly militarized regime opened 2021 with a grossly unfair election. But time may be on the side of Uganda’s young voters and their hunger for change.
Far from being a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism, democratic freedoms are key to empowering moderate voices and depriving terrorists of popular support.
Recent survey research suggests that most voters disapprove of antidemocratic acts by elected leaders. Yet there are critical exceptions when a significant minority of voters are sympathetic to or even supportive of violations of democratic laws and norms.
The swelling pessimism about democracy’s future is unwarranted. Values focused on human freedom are spreading throughout the world, and suggest that the future of self-government is actually quite bright.
Democracies rarely begin with a blank slate. Relics of authoritarian rule typically persist after democratic transitions, and these vestiges are not always harmful to people’s newfound freedom.
The covid-19 pandemic nearly upended the U.S. election, but after a rocky primary season changes were made to save it. Alarmingly, however, a large portion of voters have rejected the result. The challenge of overcoming lies about a “rigged” election is great.
A review of Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society, by Ronald J. Deibert.
Reports on elections in the Central African Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, Uganda.
Excerpts from: Russian political activist Alexi Navalny’s final appeal of politically motivated defamation charges; Burmese permanent representative to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun’s denunciation of the coup; lyrics of the prodemocracy Cuban rap “Patria y Vida”; an interview with Ugandan presidential candidate Bobi Wine; statement of the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo.