The Downfall of Malaysia’s Ruling Party

Article
October 2018

In Malaysia’s May 2018 general election, a grand bargain between ex–prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and reform leader Anwar Ibrahim produced a political earthquake that ended 61 years of rule by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

Mass Protests and the Military

Article
July 2018

When nonviolent mass protests occur under authoritarian regimes, the military plays a key role in determining the outcome: the hardening of the dictatorship, a new authoritarian regime, or a transition to democracy.

Iran’s Exclusionary Republic

Article
April 2018

A review of Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa.

China in Xi’s “New Era”: A Neglected Democratic Heritage

Article
April 2018

Despite current trends, Chinese thinkers friendly to human rights and liberal democracy have left behind a treasury of thought from which their country may one day draw new inspiration.

The Rise of Kleptocracy: Autocrats versus Activists in Africa

Article
January 2018

Central African autocrats are using their stolen money to outmaneuver their opponents and deflect international criticism.

Iran’s 2017 Election: Waning Democratic Hopes

Article
October 2017

Wrongly viewed by many media sources as a victory for “reform” and “openness,” the recent presidential election in Iran actually reflected the demoralization and disengagement of the country’s prodemocratic opposition.

Tanzania: Shrinking Space and Opposition Protest

Article
July 2017

Since Tanzania’s 2015 elections, rising repression and opposition protest have displaced an older dynamic of comparatively restrained and unchallenged dominance by the ruling party. 

The Gambia’s Electoral Earthquake

Article
April 2017

This small West African country voted a longtime dictator out of the presidency. This victory for democracy was seemingly snatched away by his refusal to leave power—yet a breathtaking reversal lay in store.

Jordan and Morocco: The Palace Gambit

Article
April 2017

Two of the Arab world’s more liberal regimes, the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, are sometimes said to be evolving toward democracy. Is this true, and what are the longer-term prospects for these two monarchies?

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