Subject: Political culture

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

Islamist Parties and Democracy: Are They Democrats? Does It Matter?

The journalistic and policy communities have been alive with speculation as to whether Islamist groups involved in politics—including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Palestine’s Hamas— are true believers in democracy or calculating pragmatists who, in Steven Cook’s words, are “seeking to use democratic procedures in order to advance an antidemocratic agenda.”

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

Islamist Parties and Democracy: Participation Without Power

The debate on the compatibility of Islamism and democracy has tended to focus on two main scenarios. In the first, Islamist political parties become agents for democratization through their participation in freely held elections. In the second, Islamists use the democratic process to gain control and establish an antidemocratic regime—the feared “one man, one vote,…

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

The Orange Revolution and Beyond

Ukraine gained independence in 1991, but its people gained their freedom only in 2004 with the Orange Revolution—an uprising of the human spirit in which Ukrainians joined together to gain a voice in their future.

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

The Crisis in Kenya

For years Kenya was regarded as one of Africa’s sturdiest democracies. The fraudulent 2007 presidential election, however, exposed the fragility of Kenya’s democratic framework.

April 2008, Volume 19, Issue 2

Politics, Markets, and Society in Lula’s Brazil

Brazil under Lula offers a test case of how politicians and societal interests in developing countries react when economic growth and new possibilities change the name of the game from shock and scarcity to boom and prosperity.

January 2008, Volume 19, Issue 1

Taming Extremist Parties: Lessons from Europe

The history of twentieth-century European communist parties shows that extremists can be moderated by robust democratic institutions. Without them, however, the inclusion of extremist parties may undermine democracy.

January 2008, Volume 19, Issue 1

Sierra Leone: A Vote for Better Governance

Five years after the close of a horrifying civil war, Sierra Leone held the freest elections in its history. Voters turned out the party that had overseen the war's end, blaming it for having mishandled governance since then.

Free

January 2008, Volume 19, Issue 1

The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines

Asia's oldest democracy is sinking into a morass of corruption and scandal. The Philippines' president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, continues to undermine the country's democratic institutions in order to remain in power.

Free

January 2008, Volume 19, Issue 1

Senegal: The Return of Personalism

Senegal's 2000 presidential election marked the end of forty years of one-party rule. But the reign of President Wade has been a severe disappointment, dashing hopes for democratic consolidation. *This is a corrected text of the print and original online version of this essay, portions of which drew heavily on Tarik Dahou and Vincent Foucher's…

October 2007, Volume 18, Issue 4

Nigeria’s Muddled Elections

The failure of the elections has been partly mitigated by the hope of judicial review of electoral malfeasance, the stabilizing ingenuity of ethno-regional power-sharing, and renewed national discussions of electoral reforms.

October 2007, Volume 18, Issue 4

Latin America’s Indigenous Peoples

Where indigenous peoples constitute a smaller share of the electorate, their recent inclusion denotes a more generalized opening of the political system to excluded and vulnerable sectors of society.

January 2007, Volume 18, Issue 1

The Perpetual Crises of Democracy

Democracy is and always will be in some kind of crisis, for it is constantly redirecting its citizens’ gaze from a more or less unsatisfactory present toward a future of still unfulfilled possibilities.

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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.

January 2007, Volume 18, Issue 1

Political Engineering in the Asia-Pacific

The 1997 financial crisis undermined the argument for a putative “Asian-style democracy” that prioritized economic development over political liberalization. Yet recent electoral and other reforms have set the stage for the emergence of a genuine “Asian model” of democracy.

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July 2006, Volume 17, Issue 3

Universal Values and Muslim Democracy

The desire for freedom and self-government is written in human hearts everywhere; in this there can be no "clash of civilizations." Claims that Islam is inherently hostile to democracy represent an unwarranted surrender to fundamentalist arguments; we should engage with a broad spectrum of Muslim groups, but without compromising our commitment to freedom and democracy.

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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

Gauging Arab Support for Democracy

Despite some moves toward liberalization in the past three decades, all Arab-majority countries remain authoritarian. Nonetheless, opinion surveys show that popular support for democracy in this part of the world is high.

July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Promoting Transparency in Angola

Natural-resource wealth has been at the root of Angola's corruption and authoritarianism. By giving leverage to those pushing for reform, however, it has also become a key factor in teh struggle for accountability.

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.

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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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

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.

January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Does Diversity Hurt Democracy?

It has been claimed in the pages of this journal that a homogeneous society is an advantage when it comes to democratization. How might this suggestion be empirically tested, and with what (perhaps preliminary) results?

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?