January 2020

Volume 31, Issue 1


30 Years of World Politics: What Has Changed?

Democracies are grappling with an era of transformation: Identity is increasingly replacing economics as the major axis of world politics. Technological change has deepened social fragmentation, and trust in institutions is falling. As our most basic assumptions come under question, can liberal democracy rebuild itself?


The End of History Revisited

Is liberal democracy the endpoint of history? The ongoing democratic recession, growing disaffection among citizens, and rising populism pose new challenges to this view. Yet testing Francis Fukuyama’s much-criticized thesis requires us to consider not only liberal democracy’s internal contradictions, but also those of its authoritarian rivals.

Democracy’s Inevitable Elites

Robert Michels’s classic work on the “iron law of oligarchy” can help us to understand why there is so much dissatisfaction with representative democracy.


Iranians Turn Away from the Islamic Republic

Iran is in the midst of an ideological crisis. Growing numbers of Iranians are rejecting the religious underpinnings of the Supreme Leader’s rule, and turning their backs on the Islamic Republic. The regime’s only response is harsher repression—a response that will deepen the anger that is bringing everyday Iranians out into the streets.

Election Watch

Reports on elections in Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, Botswana, Dominica, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kosovo, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay, Uzbekistan.

Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from: a statement by a group of NGOs on China; a speech by former prime minister of Moldova Maia Sandu; a speech by Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed; an open letter calling for free and fair elections in Russia.