Widely believed to be hopelessly mired in poverty, stagnation, and dictatorship, the developing world has in fact been making steady progress for over two decades in health, education, income, and conflict reduction, along with democracy.
Volume 26, Issue 4
Authoritarianism Goes Global (II)
East European communists inherited the Bolshevik obsession with repressing any genuinely independent civil society groups.
Once widely celebrated, civil society today is regarded as a threat by many governments, leading them to restrict its funding and activities.
The Kremlin is now bringing to the rest of the world the kind of propaganda and conspiracy theories it has been churning out at home.
China is aggressively working to reshape its image, touting the “Chinese Dream” and its desire for a peaceful rise to power on the international stage.
Can decentralization deepen democracy or is it doomed to weaken the state? If well designed, decentralization can have a positive impact on national unity, conflict mitigation, policy autonomy, service delivery, and social learning.
After the Arab Spring
We are still struggling to understand the mostly bitter harvest of the Arab Spring, but there are a few lessons that can be drawn.
Data from the Arab Barometer suggest that Arabs have not rejected democracy. In fact, they still by and large believe in it and want it.
The Arab experience shows that the same media that facilitate the toppling of dictators can make it harder to build democracy.
Islamic political parties were not especially popular with voters in Muslim-majority countries before the Arab Spring. Has that changed?
How did a potent Islamist movement come to accept a non-Islamist constitution? The answer lies in that movement’s self-protective reflexes.
A close look at secular parties in the Middle East today raises doubts about whether they are ready for prime time.
Often called for but seldom defined with any precision, “non-Western democracy” could end up giving cover to authoritarianism, but also could allow potentially useful democratic innovations to be tried and tested.
Latin American countries are burdened with domestic security problems and institutional weaknesses that have led to a rising political role for the military forces. Are there serious dangers in this “turn toward the barracks”?
A review of Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama.
Reports on elections in Burundi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Excerpts from: remarks by Nigeria's new president Muhammadu Buhari; statement by Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova; statements on abuses against lawyers and activists in China