In the 15 years since the Journal of Democracy‘s inception, democracy has made extraordinary progress. But no challenge is greater than building democratic institutions in postconflict situations.
Volume 16, Issue 1
Building Democracy After Conflict
The U.S.-led reconstruction effort has so far failed to establish democratic institutions in Iraq. But as troubled as that effort has been, it provides valuable lessons for future nation-building endeavors.
By mid-2003, Afghanistan appeared in danger of reverting to “failed-state” status. Happily, the resilience of the Afghans plus some policy changes by the United States and its parners have put things on the right track, though daunting challenges remain.
Why has the European Union, which has been so successful in transforming its candidate countries, failed in its efforts to promote democracy and development in Bosnia and Kosovo?
The art or science of designing constitutions can benefit from the insights and methods that undergird the arts and sciences of medical diagnosis and therapy.
In the conditions of today's world, countries that are in a bad way as regards some aspects of their governance may benefit from agreeing to share portions of their sovereignty with external actors.
World events-recent, current, and almost certainly to come-drive home the truth that before there can be a democratic state, there must first be a functioning state, period. Creating workable states where they have been destroyed or have barely existed yields to none among the challenges of our time.
Like many other world-government bodies, the International Monetary Fund is a necessarily nondemocratic organitzation that cannot help but have an impact on democracy’s prospects in poorer countries.
Modest progress in the muslim-majority countries is complemented by mass mobilization for democracy and freedom in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russia ranks as Not Free for the first time since the fall of communism.
The Referendum in Venezuela
Both the supporters and the foes of President Hugo Chavez went into the August 2004 recall hoping for a complete and final win. While Chavez kept his job and even rides high, Venezuela is still nowhere close to closure.
While charges of electronic fraud in the actual voting or vote-counting are unproven, the dubious and even illegal tactics that the Chavez regime used throughout the larger process point to rampant "institutional fraud" that is undermining Venezuelan democracy.
The democratic forces had an uphill climb going into the September 2004 legislative elections, but they made unforced errors as well. What were these, and how can the democrats do better next time?
To everyone's surprise, the Congress party defeated the incumbent BJP in the April-May 2004 parliamentary elections. What caused this political turnaround, and what will be its effects?
A review of China's Democratic Future: How It Will Happen and Where It Will Lead by Bruce Gilley.
Repots on elections in Afghanistan, Botswana, Czech Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Namibia, Niger, Romania, Slovenia, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
Excerpts from: a declaration issued by the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba; an open letter issued by leading democrats decrying Russian president Vladimir Putin’s series of “reforms”; a statement issued by forty leading civil society groups from the Middle East and North Africa; an open letter issued in response to the initiation of criminal…