Over the last two decades, Latin America has seen more than a dozen presidencies come to a premature end. It is time to consider changing constitutional designs that promote conflict rather than more consensual ways of doing politics.
Volume 15, Issue 4
The Quality of Democracy
Since most of the world’s soverign states are now democracies, there is a growing scholarly focus on “good” or “better” democracy, and on how improvements can not only be measured, but encouraged.
Law-based rule means a set of basic conditions that make civic life possible. A democratic rule of law requires all that and more, however.
A ket to “modern representative political democracy” is accountability, but the task of assessing it must be carefully thought through.
Freedom has always been integral to democracy. How to guard liberty is a question every democratic regime must answer.
Democracy requires robust political equality, but the persistence of social, economic and cultural inequality complicates its realization.
Responsiveness may be conceived as a series of linkages intended to ensure that governments respect the preferences of the governed.
Asking what makes a good democracy is a noble and sensible enterprise, but it will always point beyond the borders of empirical political science.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election as president in her own right capped a campaign that spoke well of Philippine democracy, but yawning gaps in the rule of law obstruct the road to consolidation.
The lack of democracy in the Arab world is a problem that goes far beyond the absence of competitive elections. This lack must be traced not to religion or culture, but to adverse historical and geostrategic circumstances.
The notion that the Muslim world as a whole does not suffer from a deficit in terms of competitive democracy is apealing, but rests on evidence and assumptions that cannot withstand critical scrutiny.
Muslim-majority, non-Arab countries are “overachievers” at electoral competitiveness. Arab countries, by contrast, constitute a distinctive political community that at present is inhospitable to competitive elections.
Surveys show that Africans’ commitment to democracy fades over time, but also that their support can be refreshed by alternations in power via elections.
A review of A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard W. French.
A review of recent elections in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mongolia, Philippines, and Serbia.
An excerpt from incumbent Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s June 30 inaugural address. Excerpts from The Doha Declaration for Democracy and Reform, a statement issued by more than a hundred participants at a June 3-4 conference in Doha sponsored by Qatar University’s Center for Gulf Studies. Also excerpted is a speech opening the conference by Qatar’s…