The Criminal Subversion of Mexican Democracy

In recent years, Mexico has stumbled into an encounter with collective violence, this time in the form of the “drug war.” Among its many harms is the damage it is doing to Mexican democracy.
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The Legacies of 1989: The Transformative Power of Europe Revisited

Improving governance in the EU’s new member states remains a huge challenge for the European project. Why has the EU succeeded in promoting democracy among its postcommunist members but failed in promoting good governance?


The Legacies of 1989: Bulgaria's Year of Civic Anger

In 2013, Bulgaria’s historically passive citizenry exploded in outrage over soaring energy bills and shady elite actions. What does Bulgaria’s year of protest tell us about how civic anger is generated and when it becomes a transformative political resource?

PDF icon The Legacies of 1989: Bulgaria's Year of Civic Anger

The Legacies of 1989: Myths and Realities of Civil Society

The changes that civil societies in Central and Eastern Europe have experienced since communism’s fall are real, but often misunderstood.


The Legacies of 1989: The Moving Ruins

Communism is gone, but while it was alive and in power it bred profound moral pathologies that still haunt the region.


Breaking the News: The Role of State-Run Media

“New media” may generate a lot of buzz, but authoritarian regimes are proving disturbingly adept both at counteracting them and at using more traditional media to help themselves hang on to power.


Reconsidering the “Transition Paradigm”

Four leading experts on democracy discuss the relevance of the “transition paradigm” in light of the “Arab Spring” and other developments in the world today.

PDF icon Reconsidering the "Transition Paradigm"

Mediterranean Blues: The Crisis in Southern Europe

Beset by economic and political crises, democracy in southern Europe has been eroding, along with support for the EU. These developments stem largely from the design of the euro, which denies key economic-policy tools to national governments.


What Can Constitutions Do? The Afghan Case

January 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of Afghanistan’s constitution. In what areas has it succeeded or failed? Judging by its achievements with respect to four midrange goals, the document has a record that is decidedly mixed.


The Crisis of Liberalism

Liberalism as a governing order is barely two centuries old. A response to the great alternatives presented by Europe’s political history, it represents a unique synthesis of the ancient and the modern. But globalization has cast a deep shadow across liberalism’s future.


Albania: From Bunkers to Ballots

After a half-century of brutal communist rule and two decades of troubled postcommunist life, this small Balkan state surprised many by achieving a successful turnover of power by means of the ballot.


Georgian Democracy: Seizing or Losing the Chance?

A year after the election that ended the rule of president Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement, Georgia has seen further remarkable developments that raise key questions for struggling postcommunist democracies and, indeed, democracies everywhere. 


Power Failure?

A review of The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím.


Election Watch

Reports on elections in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Chile, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritania, Nepal, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Tajikistan. 


Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from:

  • the October 2013 speech delivered by Mongolian president Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj while on a state visit in North Korea, highlighting the importance of freedom.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's speech honoring Václav Havel, which she gave in September at the annual conference of the Forum 2000 Foundation.
  • the joint statement of governments participating in a September meeting of governmental, private-sector, and civil society leaders on the growth of restrictions on civil society globally.
  • the charter of the newly formed Asia Democracy Network, which was launched in October.