In both Eastern and Western Europe, social-democratic parties have shifted to the center on economic policy, not only sapping the electoral strength of these parties, but also opening up political space for the populist right.
Volume 30, Issue 3
Why do ordinary people vote to return to office undemocratic incumbents? New survey experiments in several countries suggest that many voters are willing to put their partisan interests above democratic principles—a finding that may be key to understanding democratic backsliding.
Ukraine's Post-Maidan Struggles
Ukraine has made remarkable progress since the EuroMaidan Revolution, but war with Russia, economic hardship, and what voters see as unkept promises are fueling discontent. A comic actor’s triumph in the free and competitive 2019 presidential race reflects distrust of establishment elites and a deep desire for change.
Within Ukraine, Russia’s 2014 invasion has generated unprecedented pressures to impose restrictions on speech. While international norms allow some censorship during wartime, some of Ukraine’s new media and cultural policies raise risks not only for its democracy, but for its security as well.
The norm of ballot secrecy, although widely accepted in principle, is often downplayed and loosely defined in practice. As policy makers weigh new electoral options such as postal and internet voting, a better understanding is needed of secrecy’s many aspects and requirements.
Aspirations and Realities in Africa
Three decades after sub-Saharan Africa joined the “third wave,” democracy’s ability to endure has been established in many countries, but its quality remains a grave concern.
Data from the latest wave of the Afrobarometer survey show that Africans’ demand for liberal democracy remains high. The problem lies in lagging supply.
In Senegal, voters, civil society, and the media remain active and engaged, but as the reelection of Macky Sall showed, the president’s ability to limit competition and centralize power remains formidable.
Election officials made strides toward secure voter identification, and a two-party system appears to be emerging, but the 2019 elections revealed continuing problems with vote-buying and violence.
Stymied in his effort to secure a third term, President Joseph Kabila manipulated the electoral process in order to secure a compliant successor.
Popular dissatisfaction and tensions within the long-ruling EPRDF have led to the rise of a young reformist leader who has begun a course of bold reversals in favor of greater freedom and openness.
The military-backed regime of President al-Sisi seems secure, but study of the Egyptian internet reveals that the regime has failed to win over the young.
Following the settlement of the revolutionary conflicts that long plagued the region, the left was able to reach power through elections. But the results have been discouraging.
A review of Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself by Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro.
Reports on elections in Benin, Comoros, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Panama, Philippines, Slovakia, South Africa, Thailand, and Ukraine.
Excerpts from: a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; a speech by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; a speech by Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); a statement by Reverend Chu Yiu-ming; and a speech by Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
NED’s Democracy Award; World Uyghur Congress; Oslo Freedom Forum; and NED’s International Forum.