The protests that have been erupting around the world may signal the twilight of both the idea of revolution and the notion of political reformism.
Volume 25, Issue 4
India's Watershed Vote
India’s sixteenth general election ushered in a new era in the country’s politics, putting Narendra Modi and the BJP firmly in charge. What accounts for the sharp swing away from the long-dominant Congress party?
Will India under the BJP see a period of renewed communal violence, or will Hindu-nationalist politicians be reined in by constitutional constraints and their desire to stay in power?
Modi promised “good days” to aspiring young Indians, and they voted for him in droves. But he is off to a slow start in carrying out the economic reforms necessary to ensure that better days lie ahead.
Will the Modi government focus on the economy, or will it seek to implement a transformational Hindu-nationalist agenda?
Democracy’s fortunes rose in Africa in the 1990s, but more recently have been in retreat. The forces of democratic resurgence remain in play, however, as a look at the key case of Nigeria suggests.
The European Parliament elections of May 2014 were not an “earthquake,” but they did signal that Euroskeptic parties are drawing closer to the European political mainstream.
Disagreements over how much power should reside in Brussels must be allowed to become a normal aspect of debates about European affairs.
Indonesia's 2014 Elections
Indonesia’s 2014 legislative elections went smoothly. Yet the “money politics” that featured so heavily in these contests suggests a grave need to reform the country’s electoral system.
Indonesians came close to electing as their new president a populist challenger promising to restore the country’s predemocratic order. Democracy prevailed in the end, but its continued vulnerability was exposed.
External Influence and Democratization
Levitsky and Way’s account of linkage and leverage leaves out the key role of “gatekeeper” elites.
Advancing the democratic cause is threatening to autocrats, and they will fight back.
Linkage and leverage largely reflect long-term structural factors, and only in certain situations can they be affected by policy choices.
More and more Latin American countries have sought to relax or even eliminate presidential term limits. What are the consequences for democracy?
A review of The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present by David Runciman.
Reports on elections in Afghanistan, Colombia, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Slovenia, and Turkey.
Excerpts from Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves's September speech in Oslo, Norway. Portions of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech to the nation. Excerpts from Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's shocking July speech in favor of an "illiberal state." Portions of an open letter written by senior members of the Communist Party of Vietnam calling for an end…
Reconsidering the Third Wave On June 23–25, the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal held its annual political forum in Estoril entitled “Reconsidering the Third Wave of Democratization: 40 Years After the Portuguese Revolution (1974) and 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989).” The conference featured panels reflecting…