The Road to Digital Unfreedom: Three Painful Truths About Social Media

January 2019

Not so long ago, the internet was being lauded as a force for greater freedom and democracy. With the rise of intrusive and addictive social media, however, a discomfiting reality has set in. 

Modernization and Authoritarianism

July 2018

Embracing a new model of capitalist authoritarianism, a number of nondemocratic regimes have made startling gains in state capacity, posing a new challenge to the appeal and advance of liberal democracy.

The Modernization Trap

April 2017

Populist nationalism is emerging as the main competitor to liberal democracy. But despite its current resurgence, in the long run, like other illiberal paths to modernity, it is likely to prove a dead end.

Southeast Asia: Elites vs. Reform in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

April 2012

Vietnam and its smaller neighbors Laos and Cambodia remain bastions of illiberalism and one-party rule despite rapid economic growth and falling poverty. What will it take to reform their elitist political cultures and curtail the use of public office for private ends?

China and East Asian Democracy: The Taiwan Factor

January 2012

If the PRC moves toward democracy, it is likely to be in some part due to the influence of Taiwan.

Books in Review: Acts of Resistance in China

July 2010

A review of China's Long March to Freedom: Grassroots Modernization by Kate Zhou.

Populism, Pluralism, and Liberal Democracy

January 2010

In recent years, scholars have begun to focus on the sources of "authoritarian resilience." But democracy has also shown surprising resilience, in part because the disorders to which it is prone tend to counteract each other.

The Crash of '08

January 2010

The short-term political impact of the economic crisis has been less dramatic than initially expected, but it may have lasting effects on the “quality” of democracy, including the legitimacy of prevailing financial institutions.

China Since Tiananmen: The Massacre’s Long Shadow

July 2009

In the two decades since the Tiananmen massacre, China has enjoyed rapid economic growth and a measure of political stability. Recently, however, various forms of popular protest have been increasing. Do they represent a potentially serious threat to CCP rule?