Subject: Democracy promotion

January 2015, Volume 26, Issue 1

Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose

From small beginnings, democracy aid has become a sizeable enterprise. Today it is beset by problems, however, as it must operate in a less friendly environment. Hard decisions will need to be made to maintain its relevance.

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April 2014, Volume 25, Issue 2

Mandela’s Legacy at Home and Abroad

Nelson Mandela, who died in late 2013, fought for freedom for all the people of South Africa and masterfully guided his country’s transition to a nonracial democracy. His record on foreign policy is more ambiguous, but also instructive.

April 2012, Volume 23, Issue 2

How Poland Promotes Democracy

Among a new generation of international democracy promoters—often former recipients of democracy assistance themselves—Poland stands out. Its efforts, though mostly in its own neighborhood, show the importance of combining direct assistance with quiet diplomacy.

July 2010, Volume 21, Issue 3

In Praise of Václav Havel

A tribute to Václav Havel, Czech playwright and former dissident, who became not only president but the symbol of the “velvet revolutions.”

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

The Consequences of Democratization

For the past few decades, scholars have been focusing on the causes of democratization. It is now time to devote systematic attention to analyzing the costs and benefits that democracy brings.

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Another Step Forward for Ghana

Ghana held its fourth successful elections in late 2008 and subsequently witnessed the peaceful handover of power from ruling party to opposition. The country’s leaders must now reform its institutions of governance.

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January 2009, Volume 20, Issue 1

Is Democracy Possible?

While the belief in democracy has spread around the world, it has begun to crumble in some of the West’s finest academic institutions.

July 2007, Volume 18, Issue 3

The Sequencing “Fallacy”

Countries taking the initial steps from dictatorship toward electoral politics are especially prone to civil and international war. Yet states endowed with coherent institutions—such as a functioning bureaucracy and the elements needed to construct a sound legal system—have often been able to democratize peacefully and successfully. Consequently, whenever possible, efforts to promote democracy should try…

July 2007, Volume 18, Issue 3

Misunderstanding Gradualism

Unlike pessimistic scholars and recalcitrant autocrats, most ordinary citizens are inclined to take the risks of choosing democracy when they can.

April 2007, Volume 18, Issue 2

A Wake-Up Call in Afghanistan

Much has been achieved both in the war against the Taliban and in the larger struggle to create a democratic Afghanistan, but dire problems remain.

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January 2007, Volume 18, Issue 1

How Democracies Emerge: Lessons from Europe

Those who argue that democracy requires preconditions often cite the example of gradual unfolding set by the established democracies. A glance at history, however, shows that even today's most placid democracies have "backstories" as turbulent as anything found in the developing world today.

October 2006, Volume 17, Issue 4

Belarus: Learning From Defeat

The Belarusian presidential election of March 2006 appeared to be an exercise in meaninglessness, while the protests against manipulation by the Lukashenka regime seemed a study in futility. But appearances can deceive.

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April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

Scholarship and Statesmanship

Seymour Martin Lipset’s contributions to political science and sociology are not theoretical achievements alone, but reflect his keenly practical moral awareness, his understanding of leadership, and his great love of democracy as the finest form of government ever devised.

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April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

The Rise of “Muslim Democracy”

The incentives created by competitive elections in a number of Muslim-majority countries are fueling a political trend that roughly resembles the rise of Christian Democracy in twentieth-century Europe

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

Building Democracy After Conflict: ‘Stateness’ First

World events-recent, current, and almost certainly to come-drive home the truth that before there can be a democratic state, there must first be a functioning state, period. Creating workable states where they have been destroyed or have barely existed yields to none among the challenges of our time.

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

The IMF and Democratic Governance

Like many other world-government bodies, the International Monetary Fund is a necessarily nondemocratic organitzation that cannot help but have an impact on democracy’s prospects in poorer countries.

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July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

South Africa After Apartheid: The First Decade

Over the ten years since its first nonracial elections in 1994, South Africa has seen its democratic order become more firmly institutionalized, even as the electoral dominance of the ANC has continued to grow.

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April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

The Anti-American Century?

The twentieth century has been called "the American century," but it appears that the twenty-first may be dominated by anti-Americanism, an all-purpose ideology that poses a serious obstacle to the progress of democracy.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

The Imperative of State-Building

Weak or failed states are at the root of many serious global problems, from poverty and AIDS to drug trafficking and terrorism, to the failure of democratic government itself. State-building must become a priority for the world community.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Christianity and Democracy: The Global Picture

That modern democracy first arose with the ambit of Western Christianity is far from an accident. Today, the major Christain communions largely support democracy, even while necessarily retaining the right to criticize democratic decisions in the name fo religious truth claims.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Constitution-Making After Conflict: Lessons for Iraq

A through, deliberat, and consultative constitution-making process, which takes account of key lessons learned in other countries, will be essential to the legitimacy of a new Iraqi constitution and to the future of democracy.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Georgia’s Rose Revolution

Events last November confouned expectations set by the failure of democratization in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics, and should prompt new reflections on how fragile openings to democacy may be sustained and widened.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Change in Uganda: A New Opening?

The decision by Uganda’s leaders to abandon the country’s “movement” system and adopt multiparty pluralism creates a significant opportunity for democratic progress.

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January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Iraq: Setbacks, Advances, Prospects

The stakes are enormous and the challenges are difficult, but a look at Iraq months after the toppling of Saddam Hussein reveals that, despite all the frustrating setbacks, grounds for cautious optimism remain.

January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Europe Moves Eastward: Challenges of EU Enlargement

As it prepares to go from 15 to 25 member states, the EU has improved the prospects for democracy in the East, but nothing about enlargement promises to resolve the vexing issue of democracy within the EU structure itself.

October 2003, Volume 14, Issue 4

Electoral Systems: A Primer for Decision Makers

The rules that govern voting will always be of vital importance in any democracy. The beginning of wisdom is to turn from the usual focus on electoral systems in order to reflect on larger goals and the trade-offs among them that may be necessary.

October 2003, Volume 14, Issue 4

Can Democracy Be Taught?

Civic education can enhance democratic values and participation among adults in young democracies, but the training must be frequent and participatory. Otherwise adult civic education may not be worth doing.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Tibet: The Exiles’ Journey

Almost a half-century after being forced from their homeland, Tibetans abroad, led by the Dalai Lama, have democratized their institutions in hopes that they may one day form the basis for a free and self-governing Tibet.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Africa: States in Crisis

Democratic and ecnomic development will become sustainable in sub-Saharan Africa only with the emergence of coherent, legitimate and effective states.

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April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

Terror, Islam, and Democracy

Although Islamist terror groups invoke a host of religious references, the real source of their ideas is not the Koran but rather Leninism, fascism, and other strains of twentieth-century thought that exalt totalitarian violence.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

What Democracy Can Do for East Asia

The implicit social bargain that carried many East Asian countries through the Cold War has lost its currency. If the peoples of this region are to secure the blessings of peace, liberty, and prosperity in the century ahead, they will need to have a new and explicitly democratic bargain working for them.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

Mozambique: A Fading UN Success Story

The United Nations did superb work in helping Mozambique to end its long-festering civil war and start down the path to recovery, but those gains could slip away amid ominous conditions of partisan polarization, excessive political centralization, and a winner-takes-everything electoral system.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

Books in Review: Reconstructing Afghanistan

A review of “Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban,” by Larry P. Goodson; and “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia,” by Ahmed Rashid.