Democracy by itself does not put an end to injustice or inequality, but it establishes the most favorable conditions for making progress in the struggle to achieve a just society.
Volume 12, Issue 1
The military regime of General Musharraf has been less repressive than many had feared, but there is little sign that it is overcoming the deep-seated problems that led to the failure of Pakistani democracy.
The astonishing electoral victories by opposition presidential candidates in Korea, Taiwan, and Mexico all followed a remarkably similar pattern, but it is one that may lead to difficulties for democratic consolidation.
While many of the world’s pseudodemocracies have lately made the transition to “unadulterated” democracy, Malaysia and its leader, Mahathir Mohamad, have successfully bucked this trend.
Under many nondemocratic systems, good policy is bad politics, and bad policy helps leaders stay in office. The result is poorer performance in terms of economic growth.
Morocco’s new king, Mohamed VI, has two alternatives: He can invent a new “ruling bargain,” prolonging his father’s authoritarian rule in a new guise, or he can spearhead serious political reforms.
Promising advances in the status of freedom in the world during the past year have been matched by significant disappointments.
How People View Democracy
Citizens of postcommunist countries not only want to be free to say what they think and to vote their conscience; they also want a government that obeys the rules it lays down and is not steeped in corruption.
Although Africa is a latecomer to democratization, Africans overwhelmingly support democracy, and their conception of democracy is surprisingly liberal.
Judging from their citizens’ middling levels of support for and satisfaction with democracy, both Korea and Taiwan are still far from democratic consolidation.
Across Latin America, public support for democracy has been remarkably stable and consistently higher than satisfaction with the way that democracy works. Low institutional trust reflects even lower levels of interpersonal trust.
Malapportionment poses a serious, yet hitherto neglected, challenge to the quality and fairness of democracy in many Latin American countries.
The stunning defeat of a draft constitution backed by President Robert Mugabe and the opposition’s unexpectedly strong showing in the June 2000 parliamentary elections may have marked the beginning of the end of ruling-party hegemony in Zimbabwe.
A review of Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-being in the World 1950-1990, by Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi.
Reports on elections in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Yugoslavia.
Excerpts from: a statement by Yugoslav presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica; Mexican president Vicente Fox’s inaugural address; the declaration of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.