January 2015

Volume 26, Issue 1

The Weight of Geopolitics

Can democracy prosper when democratic countries are in geopolitical retreat? History cautions against the notion that democracy will inevitably prevail.

Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose

From small beginnings, democracy aid has become a sizeable enterprise. Today it is beset by problems, however, as it must operate in a less friendly environment. Hard decisions will need to be made to maintain its relevance.

Has the Door Closed on Arab Democracy?

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, democracy in the Arab world seems farther away today than at any point in the last 25 years. If it is to ever arrive, it will likely be through a more evolutionary and elite-driven process.

India, Sri Lanka, and the Majoritarian Danger

Does the electoral victory of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party signal that the world’s largest democracy may be following Sri Lanka toward a politics where the will of the majority is exalted above minority rights?

China’s Challenge

As China’s power grows, will it seek to remake the world in its authoritarian image? For now, China shows no such missionary impulse, but the ways in which it pursues its interests can still threaten the fate of democracy.

Election Watch

Reports on elections in Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Liberia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Romania, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from a November 15 letter by the Hong Kong Federation of Students (who were among the leaders of the "Umbrella Revolution") to Chinese premier Li Keqiang, inviting him to visit Hong Kong. Excerpts from the 310-page campaign manifesto of former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, who was proclaimed Afghanistan’s new president on September 21 after lengthy negotiations and an audit of the June 14…

News and Notes

Forum 2000 Conference On October 12–15, the eighteenth Forum 2000 conference took place in Prague and other central European cities. Inspired by Václav Havel, this annual conference brings together leading experts and activists from around the world to examine key democracy-related topics. The 2014 event was organized around the theme “Democracy and Its Discontents: A…