Subject: Elections

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July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Transitions from Postcommunism

The years since 2000 have seen a surprising new wave of democratic breakthroughs in postcommunist lands as varied as Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Can we identify any factors common to each case?

July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

The New Iraq: The Sistani Factor

For the Shi'ite majority and its senior religious leader, the January elections played out against the background of a longing for justice that has deep spiritual sources as well as more recent sociopolitical roots.

July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Turkey’s AKP: A Model “Muslim-Democratic” Party?

Is the Islamic-oriented party that has ruled since 2002 really the harbinger of 'Muslim democracy,' or is it something more familiar in Turkish politics: a hierarchical group none too closely in touch with society and overly focused on one man?

July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Election Watch, July 2005

A review of recent elections in Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Togo, and Simbabwe.

April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

Challenge and Change in East Asia: Taiwan’s Year of Stress

Thanks to a disputed presidential election and a narrowly divided parliament, Taiwan's politics remains tense. Yet the worst of the conflicts that gripped the island seem to have eased, and the difficult political events of the last few years may have some beneficial effects after all.

April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

The End of Postcommunism in Romania

The 2004 elections saw the defeat of the former communists who ruled Romania for most of the period since the fall of communism. Will the country's new, democratic, and pro-European government be able to break with the semi-authoritarian habits of its postcommunist predecessors?

April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

Election Watch, April 2005

A review of recent elections in Central African Republic, Croatia, Ghana, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Micronesia, Moldova, Mozambique, Niger, Palestinian Territories, Somaliland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

The Referendum in Venezuela: Elections versus Democracy

While charges of electronic fraud in the actual voting or vote-counting are unproven, the dubious and even illegal tactics that the Chavez regime used throughout the larger process point to rampant "institutional fraud" that is undermining Venezuelan democracy.

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

Hong Kong’s Democrats Stumble

The democratic forces had an uphill climb going into the September 2004 legislative elections, but they made unforced errors as well. What were these, and how can the democrats do better next time?

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

Election Watch, January 2005

A review of recent elections in Afghanistan, Botswana, Czech Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Romania, Slovenia, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

October 2004, Volume 15, Issue 4

Philippine Politics and the Rule of Law

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election as president in her own right capped a campaign that spoke well of Philippine democracy, but yawning gaps in the rule of law obstruct the road to consolidation.

July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

Crafting a Constitution for Afghanistan

As 2004 began, Afghanistan approved a new constitution that represents a key step forward in its political reconstruction. But it is not yet clear whether this new constitution will enable the country to surmount the many challenges that lie ahead.

July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

Russian Democracy in Eclipse: What the Polls Tell Us

The first flush of democratic hopes has faded, as the recent elections have emphasized. But the democratic idea has a foothold, and the presidential machine that swept those elections will not have an easy time retaining its sway.

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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.

July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

Election Watch, July 2004

Reports on recent elections in Algeria, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

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

Election Watch

Reports on recent elections in Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Iran, Russia, and Serbia.

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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

Fox’s Mexico at Midterm

Mexico’s 2003 congressional elections confirmed both the transition to fully competitive politics and the persistence of structural deficiencies associated with a multiparty presidential system.

January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Books in Review: Putin’s Deep Freeze

A review of Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 by Timothy J. Colton and Michael McFaul; Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State by David Satter; and Putin's Russia by Lilia Shevtsova.

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

Election Watch

Brief reports on elections in Cambodia, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, and Rwanda.

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

Nigeria: Elections in a Fragile Regime

The election cycle concluding in the spring of 2003 was a guarded success. High hurdles to better governance and democratic consolidation remain, but Nigerians can now face them with greater hope.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Kenya: Third Time Lucky?

After falling short in 1992 and 1997, Kenya’s large but fractious opposition coalition swept to victory at the polls in 2002. Transition has arrived, but can democratic transformation follow?

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Zimbabwe’s Hijacked Election

Realizing that power would slip from his grasp if he allowed an honest presidential election in 2002, longtime strongman Robert Mugabe resorted to antidemocratic tactics that set a new low in cruelty and dishonesty.

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Pluralism by Default in Moldova

During the 1990s, politics in the small post-Soviet state of Moldova was more competitive than anyone would have expected. Yet there was less to this surprising pluralism than met the eye.

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Dark Days in Belarus

Why did Belarusians return dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka to power in September 2001? Could a better-managed opposition campaign have made a difference?

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Post-Election Blues in Ukraine

In March 2002, three-fifths of Ukraine’s voters chose a party or coalition opposed to the overbearing presidential apparatus of Leonid Kuchma, but the antipresidential forces found themselves frozen out in the new parliament.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

Argentina: Crisis and Democratic Consolidation

Argentina made headlines around the world last December as its presidency changed hands no fewer than four times in less than two weeks. Lost amid the chaos,however,were hopeful signs that the country has now turned the corner of democratic consolidation.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

A New Look at Federalism: Italy Decentralizes

Italy has long mixed great local and regional diversity with a unitary approach to governance. In October 2001, however, Italian voters approved a series of changes to their country’s Constitution that could mark a decisive turn toward federalism.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

Bulgaria’s Royal Elections

Last year, Bulgarians elected their newly returned former king as prime minister and then, in a shocking upset,ousted their incumbent president. What do these results portend for the future of Bulgarian democracy?

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

Electoral Systems for Divided Societies

Political scientists have long theorized that the use of “preferential” election systems can help promote successful conflict management in divided societies. As it turns out, evidence from five real-world cases supports this conclusion.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

South Asia Faces the Future: Back and Forth in Bangladesh

Recent parliamentary elections showed the continuing strengths and weaknesses of Bangladeshi democracy. Although the country does have strong political parties and a decade of democratic elections, the intense antipathy between government and opposition will continue to cause problems well into the future.

October 2001, Volume 12, Issue 4

Why Direct Election Failed in Israel

Israel began directly electing its prime minister in 1992, only to abandon this change less than ten years later. What came between was a series of hard lessons in the unintended consequences or reform.

July 2001, Volume 12, Issue 3

Romania’s Politics of Dejection

The elections of 2000 reflected the profound disillusionment of the Romanian electorate with the performance of the centrist government of the past four years, rather than a turn away from democracy itself.

April 2001, Volume 12, Issue 2

The Return of “People Power” in the Philippines

The mass demonstrations that ousted President Joseph Estrada recalled those that had brought down dictator Ferdinand Marcos 15 years earlier. Yet the return of “People Power” raises some concerns about the health of Filipino democracy.

April 2001, Volume 12, Issue 2

A Peaceful Turnover in Ghana

With longtime ruler Jerry Rawlings obeying constitutional term limits, the opposition won a narrow electoral victory, bringing Ghana its first peaceful transfer of power since independence.

January 2001, Volume 12, Issue 1

Malaysia’s Resilient Pseudodemocracy

While many of the world’s pseudodemocracies have lately made the transition to “unadulterated” democracy, Malaysia and its leader, Mahathir Mohamad, have successfully bucked this trend.

January 2001, Volume 12, Issue 1

Fighting Authoritarianism in Zimbabwe

The stunning defeat of a draft constitution backed by President Robert Mugabe and the opposition’s unexpectedly strong showing in the June 2000 parliamentary elections may have marked the beginning of the end of ruling-party hegemony in Zimbabwe.

October 2000, Volume 11, Issue 4

Monitoring the Vote in Croatia

A nongovernmental organization, Citizens Organized to Monitor Voting (GONG), helped ensure the transparency of Croatia’s recent elections.

July 2000, Volume 11, Issue 3

Russia Under Putin: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Does the election of Vladimir Putin as Russia’s president represent a fundamental turn away from democracy or merely a temporary setback? Although Putin’s apparent indifference to democracy is worrisome, it would be premature to conclude that democracy is lost in Russia.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

The “Normalization” of Argentine Politics

The most striking thing about Fernando de la Rua’s presidential victory in Argentina was the routine-even boring-character of the elections. This turn toward normalization is a major break with the past.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Chile’s Elections: The New Face of the Right

The unexpectedly strong showing of media-savvy rightist candidate Joaquín Lavín in the 1999 presidential elections and the move to the center by Concertación candidate Ricardo Lagos suggest that Chile has begun to put the ghosts of Allende and Pinochet to rest.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Chile’s Elections: Change and Continuity

Lavín’s strong showing did not represent an “earthquake” or a dramatic change in the electoral landscape. Voting patterns have remained basically unchanged since 1988, giving Lagos a clear mandate to lead Chile into the next millennium.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Electoral Reform and Stability in Uruguay

In the November 1999 presidential election, Uruguayans reaffirmed their strong commitment to democracy, while adjusting to a set of constitutional reforms that profoundly altered the electoral system.