Since its very first issue back in January 1990, the Journal of Democracy has devoted extensive coverage to the transformation in East-Central Europe that began with the sudden fall of communist regimes in 1989. Though many of the articles that we published on this region emphasized the problems and difficulties which lay in the path…
Volume 18, Issue 4
Is East-Central Europe Backsliding?
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe successfully transitioned to democracy. Do their ongoing political problems exist today because of or in spite of the European Union?
The populist backlash against corruption, the CEE transition-era elites, and the liberal consensus has led to a democratic crisis, but does not portend systemic change.
The real danger in East-Central Europe comes not from populist ideology or attempts to subvert democracy, but rather from the manipulation of democratic procedures by those in power.
To understand how East-Central European societies have evolved since 1989, we must understand the building blocks that contribute to the establishment and functioning of open societies.
Under the pressure of compliance with the Maastricht convergence criteria governments implement painful welfare state reforms.
Having suffered under both of the twentieth century's most brutal brands of dictatorship—fascism and communism—the CEE peoples have been dreaming of a new and better future, the future of the European Union and the Euro-Atlantic community.
The paradox of East-Central Europe is that the rise of populism is an outcome not of the failures but of the successes of postcommunist liberalism. *This is a corrected text of the print and original online version of this essay, which lacked proper citation for some of its sources. This is the only version that…
Iran's Resilient Civil Society
Observers who focus too much on elections have failed to grasp the maturation of Iranian civil society, even as hard-liners have come to dominate the government.
They are good signs for the future of democracy in Iran, but it will take time and energy to organize these promising pieces into a greater democracy movement.
The failure of the elections has been partly mitigated by the hope of judicial review of electoral malfeasance, the stabilizing ingenuity of ethno-regional power-sharing, and renewed national discussions of electoral reforms.
On 7 June 2007, the National Endowment for Democracy commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the "Westminster Address" with a panel discussion and reception in Madison Hall at the Library of Congress.
Where indigenous peoples constitute a smaller share of the electorate, their recent inclusion denotes a more generalized opening of the political system to excluded and vulnerable sectors of society.
Some skeptics have asked whether ordinary people possess an understanding of democracy that allows them to evaluate it as a form of government. Our research yields three generalizations about popular understanding of democracy.
This article assesses the historical record and current practice to argue that a form of autonomy that is appropriately grounded in China’s Constitution and international human rights practice may offer a path out of the current dispute.
A review of Inside Iraq's Confessional Politics by Junning Liu.
A report on recent elections in Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Mali, Morocco, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Excerpts from the communique summarizing the positions adopted at a postelection Nigerian civil society summit held in April to discuss dissatisfaction with the recent presidential and parliamentary elections. Excerpts from a report from Abuja by IFES Africa Deputy Director Nathan Van Dusen explaining why the Nigerian election results were received without mass protests, despite calls…