Authoritarianism’s Last Line of Defense

Article
January 2010

The new electoral authoritarian regimes of the post–Cold War era have formally adopted the full panoply of liberal-democratic institutions. Rather than rejecting or repressing these institutions, they manipulate them.

Why Democracy Needs a Level Playing Field

Article
January 2010

In some countries, democratic competition is undermined less by electoral fraud or repression than by a skewed playing field—unequal access to state institutions, resources, and the media.

Transitions to the Rule of Law

Article
January 2010

While we have witnessed many transitions to multiparty systems, it has proven much harder for countries to attain a genuine rule of law. We need to know more about the origins of the rule of law in order to promote it successfully today.

Books in Review: Democratic Triumph, Scholarly Pessimism

Article
January 2010

By any measure, democratization has achieved remarkable advances over the past twenty years. Why, then, have so many of the leading works written on the topic during this period been so full of gloom?

Twenty Years of Postcommunsim: Georgia's Soviet Legacy

Article
January 2010

The central problems now blocking democracy in Georgia and other parts of the former USSR are: 1) the use of power in order to gain wealth; 2) the absence of the rule of law; and 3) the passivity of citizens.

Iran in Ferment: Civil Society’s Choice

Article
October 2009

When students and other rights activists decided to seize a tactical opening that the regime cynically offered them during the 2009 campaign, they were making a choice that was even more fateful than they knew.

Democratization by Elections? A Mixed Record

Article
July 2009

Evidence suggests that under some circumstances repeated elections, even if flawed, can lead to democratization.

Democratization by Elections? Competitive Clientelism in the Middle East

Article
July 2009

Legislative elections in the Middle East often become contests over patronage and wind up reinforcing authoritarian regimes.

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