Democracy’s "Near Misses"

October 2018

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.

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.

Brazil: The Costs of Multiparty Presidentialism

April 2018

The massive corruption revealed by Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” points to fundamental flaws in multiparty presidential systems, where presidents must find ways to build coalitions in fragmented legislatures. 

The Rise of Kleptocracy: Laundering Cash, Whitewashing Reputations

January 2018

To safeguard their ill-gotten gains, kleptocrats rely on a web of transnational relationships and the complicity of Western fixers.

Globalization Chinese-Style

October 2017

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

The Fading of the Anti-Coup Norm

January 2017

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?

Iraq’s Year of Rage

October 2016
Iraqis of all ethnic and sectarian stripes are fed up with the ineptitude and corruption of their political leaders, parties, and government institutions.

The Assault on Postcommunist Courts

July 2016

A number of countries in East-Central Europe are facing a grave crisis of constitutional democracy. As their governments seek to undermine the institutional limits on their power, constitutional courts have become a central target.

25 Years After the USSR: What’s Gone Wrong?

July 2016

A quarter-century after the Soviet breakup, democracy has hardly fared well across the vast Eurasian landmass. Why has this seemingly promising gain for freedom produced such disappointing results?

Burma Votes for Change: The New Configuration of Power

April 2016
Even though Burma’s military seems to have accepted the NLD’s stunning election victory, it can still use an array of constitutional provisions to hamstring the incoming NLD government.