Taming Extremist Parties: Lessons from Europe

The history of twentieth-century European communist parties shows that extremists can be moderated by robust democratic institutions. Without them, however, the inclusion of extremist parties may undermine democracy.


Morocco's Elections: The Limits of Limited Reforms

The program of carefully controlled reform-from-above that King Mohamed VI began almost a decade ago may now have reached an impasse amid signs of growing disaffection.


Morocco's Elections: Islamists, Technocrats, and the Palace

Morocco is a country with a "defused" political game: Elections do not play their usual role in democracies of allowing citizens to choose among competing agendas for policy and governance.


Morocco's Elections: A Dynamic Civil Society

Since the 1990s, Moroccan civil society groups have been proliferating, and they are increasingly influential in addressing society-wide matters including the rights of women, ethnic minorities, and the poor.


Morocco's Elections: Questions for the Future

The most important aspects of Morocco's September 2007 parliamentary election may have been things that did not happen: The Islamists did not win, and many citizens either did not vote or spoiled their ballots.


Turkey Divided

Events surrounding Turkey's 2007 elections reveal a country with a vibrantly democratic political sphere and a society badly split over the role of Islam in national life.

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Sierra Leone: A Vote for Better Governance

Five years after the close of a horrifying civil war, Sierra Leone held the freest elections in its history. Voters turned out the party that had overseen the war's end, blaming it for having mishandled governance since then.


The Democracy Barometers (Part II): Surveying South Asia

While the people of South Asia, especially those with higher levels of education and exposure to the media, prefer democracy to authoritarianism, they are willing to relax some of the requirements of liberal democracy.


The Democracy Barometers (Part II): Attitudes in the Arab World

Findings from the Arab Barometer say little about whether there are likely to be transitions to democracy in the Arab world in the years ahead, but they do offer evidence that citizens' attitudes and values are not the reason that authoritarianism has persisted.


The Democracy Barometers (Part II): Latin America's Diversity of Views

Attitudes toward democracy in Latin America vary from country to country, and within countries between left and right. Public opinion is strongly affected by the success or failure of political leaders in delivering social and economic change.


The Role of Ordinary People in Democratization

In order for a country to move beyond mere electoral democracy, ordinary people must acquire resources and values that allow them to pressure elites. Human empowerment is essential for the development of "effective democracy."


The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines

Asia's oldest democracy is sinking into a morass of corruption and scandal. The Philippines' president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, continues to undermine the country's democratic institutions in order to remain in power.

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Senegal: The Return of Personalism

Senegal's 2000 presidential election marked the end of forty years of one-party rule. But the reign of President Wade has been a severe disappointment, dashing hopes for democratic consolidation.
*This is a corrected text of the print and original online version of this essay, portions of which drew heavily on Tarik Dahou and Vincent Foucher's "Le Sénégal, entre changement politique et révolution passive: 'Sopi' or not 'Sopi'?" Politique africaine 96 (December 2004) without adequate attribution. This is the only version that should be used for citation or further dissemination.

PDF icon Mbow-19-1.pdf

Books in Review: Inside Iraq's Confessional Politics

A review of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A. Allawi.


Election Watch, January 2008

Reports on recent elections in Argentina, Croatia, Guatemala, Jordan, Kiribati, Madagascar, Nauru, Oman, Poland, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine.


Documents on Democracy, January 2008

  • Excerpt from a Washington Post op-ed written by U Gambira, a pseudonym for the leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance, on the widespread Burmese protests spearheaded by Buddhist monks in the fall of 2007.
  • Excerpts from remarks by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia, accepting the National Democratic Institute's W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award.
  • Excerpts from the keynote address given by Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of the Republic of Indonesia, at the opening of the 40th Annual Conference of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) in Bali, Indonesia. Indonesia's citizens received the IAPC International Democracy Award, which Yudhoyono accepted on their behalf.