Liberal Democracy’s Fading Allure

Is liberal democracy the only suitable type of government for a strong, modern society? A quarter-century ago, the answer seemed to be a clear yes. But today the picture is much cloudier.


Eroding Norms and Democratic Deconsolidation

“Democratic deconsolidation” on the level of attitudes and beliefs is real, and behind it lies a disturbing rise in tolerance for antisocial behavior, especially among the young. 

PDF icon Eroding Norms and Democratic Deconsolidation

Iran’s 2017 Election: The Opposition Inches Forward

Despite all its flaws, Iran’s May 2017 presidential balloting amounted to another small but genuine advance for the cause of democracy. 


Iran’s 2017 Election: Waning Democratic Hopes

Wrongly viewed by many media sources as a victory for “reform” and “openness,” the recent presidential election in Iran actually reflected the demoralization and disengagement of the country’s prodemocratic opposition.


From Liberation to Turmoil: Social Media and Democracy

Once hailed as a megaphone for marginalized voices and an enabler of free discourse generally, social media now appear to have problematic consequences in both authoritarian and democratic regimes.  


South Korea After Impeachment

After a presidential corruption scandal sparked peaceful mass protests leading to the impeachment and removal of the incumbent, South Koreans went to the polls to choose her successor. Was this drama a window on the troubles of South Korean democracy, or a testament to its strength and resilience?


Elections in the Hardest Places: The Case of Somalia

Is pressing a troubled, intensely fragile “postconflict” country to hold elections a good idea? Somalia did so in late 2016 and early 2017, and the process was not pretty. But was it better than the alternative?


Strengthening Constitutionalism in Asia

Liberal democracy can never put down truly firm roots in Asia unless and until the fundamentals of democratic constitutionalism take hold. There are seven practical imperatives that friends of constitutionalism in the region must pursue.

PDF icon Strengthening Constitutionalism in Asia

How Much Democratic Backsliding?

Democracy’s retreat is real, yet alarmist reports of a global demise or crisis of democracy are not warranted.


Globalization Chinese-Style

A review of China’s Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative by Nadège Rolland.


Election Watch

Reports on elections in Albania, Angola, Congo (Brazzaville), Kenya, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, and Singapore.  


Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from an open letter calling for the release of democracy activists in Hong Kong; excerpts from the inaugural address of new South Korean president Moon Jae In.


News and Notes

Interview with Ivan Krastev; Ghanaian Scholar Honored; Electoral Integrity in Latin America; Russia’s Opposition in Focus; Scholars at Risk Director Recognized; NED’s International Forum