With its recent electoral turnover of power, Pakistan seemingly passed a milestone of democratic consolidation. But beneath the surface, power remains where it long has been—with the military.
What factors help a democracy to survive a crisis? A study of cases in which democracy suffered a steep decline, yet ultimately recovered and endured, offers new insights. In moments of crisis, unelected and nonmajoritarian actors can play a pivotal role.
Despite high hopes for progress toward democracy, the military’s power remains stubbornly entrenched, while Aung San Suu Kyi seems to lack the skills to run the government effectively.
Following the end of the Cold War, an international norm against coups began gaining strength, but it seems to have lost momentum in recent years. What has happened?
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept Burma’s November 2015 elections. Will the new NLD-led government be able to live up to high expectations that it will deliver better governance, national reconciliation, and some form of federalism?
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”?
Burma’s troubled transition is imperiled by the reluctance of the military to loosen its grip. What lessons can the Burmese learn from other East Asian countries that have emerged from military rule?
By militarizing key state institutions and using violence against the opposition, Zimbabwe’s military elites have hindered the country’s transition to democracy. In return, they have been richly rewarded. Can the military’s tentacles be untangled from Zimbabwean politics?
The Arab world’s old autocracies survived by manipulating the sharp identity conflicts in their societies. The division and distrust that this style of rule generated is now making it especially difficult to carry out the kind of pact-making often crucial to successful democratic transitions.