Over the past decade, a series of "electoral revolutions" has taken place from Slovakia to Kyrgyzstan. Why has this path to democratization been especially common in the postcommunist region?
Volume 17, Issue 4
A "Left Turn" in Latin America?
Progressive politics in Latin America inevitably draws from the legacies of socialism and populism, but these categories are not very useful today. Can we find better tools for differentiating Latin America's "multiple lefts"?
As leftist victories accumulate, it becomes increasingly clear that they represent a regional trend. But why is this trend happening now, and how far will it spread?
Latin America must find a way to include its newly urbanized informal workers in more regular channels of economic and political participation. Updating outmoded labor laws is a key to accomplishing this task.
Chile's new Socialist president Michelle Bachelet will seek to maintain the country's socioeconomic progress, but her attempt to cure growing alienation from the traditional parties could create a new set of problems.
In reelecting President Alvaro Uribe by a landslide, Colombia's voters opted for continuity. But they chose continuity with an administration that has carried out a major series of policy innovations.
An unexpected winner emerged in Peru's close-fought presidential election. Alan García's earlier presidential term was calamitous at best, and yet he may now be the harbinger of a brighter future for Peru's democracy.
If there is a common thread through Pakistan's checkered history, it is the army's perception of itself as the country's only viable institution. As the next parliamentary elections approach, what does the future hold for democratic hopes in Pakistan?
Courts empowered to overturn legislative acts have spread rapidly in recent years. If carefully designed and limited, constitutional courts may aid democratic consolidation, but if not, they can become objects of political strife, impediments to democracy, and bad influences on legal development.
The Belarusian presidential election of March 2006 appeared to be an exercise in meaninglessness, while the protests against manipulation by the Lukashenka regime seemed a study in futility. But appearances can deceive.
Embedding a vibrant market economy into strong democratic political institutions is the best way to ensure that political and economic empowerment play complementary roles improving the lives of citizens around the world.
Middle Eastern realities and scholarship on democratic transitions both suggest that formally negotiated deals between authoritarian rulers and liberal opposition forces are unlikely to provide the path to change in the Arab world.
We should neither be too hasty to discount the prodemocratic political ferment in the Arab world, nor be fooled into thinking that Islamist groups will play a constructive part in democratic transitions.
A review of Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Daren Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
A review of recent elections in Congo (Kinshasa), Dominican Republic, Gambia, Guyana, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Slovakia, Yemen, and Zambia.
A June 2006 letter from jailed Egyptian politician Ayman Nour, who was sentenced to five years in prison in December 2005 on forgery charges widely viewed as spurious. Excerpts from Timorese leader José Ramos Horta's acceptance speech, following his swearing in as prime minister of Timor-Leste on July 10. Excerpts from Chilean president Michelle Bachelet's…