Democracy-aid providers are moving away from one-size-fits-all strategies and are adapting their programs to diverse political contexts. Two distinct overall approaches to assisting democracy have emerged in response.
Volume 20, Issue 1
Can Cuba Change?
Although the transfer of power from Fidel to Raúl has been relatively uneventful, potential divisions within the ruling elite, especially between the military and the Party, are likely to emerge before too long.
The opposition within Cuba has become more diverse as well as more unified, and the regime, despite its enduring capacity for repression, is showing signs of underlying weakness.
For most of history, a closed social order has seemed the most “natural” way to manage the problem of controlling the use of force. The rise of modern democracy can be understood only in the context of the transition to open-access orders.
Debating the Color Revolutions
Structure, agency, and process all are critical in explaining the uneven pattern of electoral change in postcommunist Europe and Eurasia.
Authoritarian weakness alone cannot explain why the mobilization process during the color revolutions assumed similar forms across varied contexts.
Levels of regime strength and links to the West help to explain authoritarian breakdown, but the ruler’s popularity also matters.
Western pressure can be decisive, but it is not always easy to forecast when and how it will be applied.
Change may be caused more by the frailty of the regime than the strength of the opposition, but in such cases the outcome is often less democratic.
The color revolutions illustrate both the prevalence of diffusion and the potential limits of its impact on political change.
A decade after the handover of their city to China, Hong Kong’s “pandemocrats” remain able to stand their ground at the ballot box.
While the belief in democracy has spread around the world, it has begun to crumble in some of the West’s finest academic institutions.
Serbia has become a country where political contention is vigorous, but illiberal forces have shown an ability to adapt to the new conditions.
Fernando Lugo’s victory in the 2008 presidential election ended 61 years of one-party rule in Paraguay. How did the Colorado Party lose power?
The case of Finland challenges conventional thinking on clean politics. Can it serve as a model for its more corrupt counterparts?
A review of The West and Islam: Religion and Political Thought in World History by Antony Black
Reports on elections in Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Lithuania, the Maldives, Romania, Rwanda, Slovenia, Swaziland, Vanuatu, and Zambia.
Excerpts from: the farewell speech delivered by the Maldives’ outgoing president and the new executive’s inaugural address; Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo’s inaugural address; several tributes from the memorial service of Bronisław Geremek; an open letter by 109 Iranian university presidents; statements issued for the first International Day of Democracy.