Although the Arab revolts have a long way to go before they can be counted as gains for democracy, they do underline what is perhaps democracy’s greatest source of strength worldwide—its superior legitimacy.
Volume 22, Issue 4
Comparing the Arab Revolts
The Arab events of 2011 may have some similarities to the wave of popular upheavals against authoritarianism that swept the Soviet bloc starting in 1989, but the differences are much more fundamental.
Across the Arab world, militaries have played a key role in determining whether revolts against dictatorship succeed or fail. What factors determine how and why “the guys with guns” line up the way they do?
Methods of electing legislatures are fraught with consequences for the shape and quality of democracy, and must balance a number of competing goals. Amid the current political ferment of the Arab world, what kinds of electoral systems are emerging and what will they mean for democratic hopes there?
Saudi Arabia looked for a time in early 2011 as if it too would become swept up in the Arab uprising. Yet it never quite happened—why?
Nigeria’s 2011 presidential election offered its citizens the most competitive and transparent contest in decades, but also the bloodiest.
Peru's 2011 Elections
Despite the presidential victory of Ollanta Humala, Peru’s 2011 elections had some continuities with the 2006 contest. The electorate is dividing along regional and socioeconomic rather than partisan lines.
In a runoff between candidates with dubious democratic credentials, former antisystem outsider Ollanta Humala defeated Keiko Fujimori by attracting votes from the middle class.
Do New Democracies Support Democracy?
Though justly vaunted as the world’s largest democracy, India will in all likelihood remain reluctant to take on the mantle of “democracy promoter” for a mix of historical, ideological, and strategic reasons.
Since its transition to democracy barely a decade ago, Indonesia has begun projecting its newly democratic values across international borders. So far, however, its efforts have been largely rhetorical.
Long an “ultrarealist” power, Turkey has over the last decade begun taking human rights and democracy more seriously as aspects of its diplomacy, albeit still in a decidedly selective way.
When it comes to backing democracy and human rights in international forums, the behavior of the world’s six most influential rising democracies ranges from sympathetic support to borderline hostility.
Singapore has long been known for combining economic development with strict limits on political opposition. But its 2011 parliamentary elections suggest that it is moving toward “competitive authoritarianism.”
A review of The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama.
Reports on elections in Cape Verde, Macedonia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey.
Excerpts from: a statement condemning the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' campaign against the country's civil society organizations and human-rights groups; a statement by two top EU officials on the arrest of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko; an address given by Mongolian president Tsakhia Elbegdorj; the OAS resolution "Promotion of the Rights…