The impulse to have crimes against humanity investigated and punished, like the impulse behind “truth and reconciliation” commissions, is understandable. But legalism cannot supersede the hard and messy work of politics.
Why do some hybrid regimes remain stable over time, while others become more authoritarian? Venezuela’s autocratic turn has been driven by the ruling party’s declining electoral fortunes and by a foreign policy that has shielded it from international scrutiny.
Iran’s authoritarianism is more flexible and more durable than its detractors would hope, yet more fragile and endangered than its defenders claim.
Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth sustains the antidemocratic policies that a nervous royal regime uses to defend against the threats and problems that confront it.
China has gone back on its well-documented vow (and solemn treaty obligation) to allow Hong Kong genuine universal suffrage. Abrogated commitments and fake democracy are not the path to a thriving Hong Kong that feels at home within the People’s Republic of China.
In a year marked by escalating terrorism, the use of more brutal repression by authoritarian regimes, and Russia’s annexation of a neighboring country’s territory, the state of freedom worsened significantly in nearly every part of the world.
Although elections take place on schedule in Mozambique, they are of dubious quality, and the most recent one was held amid an uneasy peace following renewed outbursts of civil strife. Major new gas and mineral finds promise a shot at greater prosperity, but also hold the threat of a “resource curse.”
East Asia’s millennials have grown up in an age of rapid socioeconomic progress, allowing them to become better educated, more urbanized, and more technologically connected than previous generations. Will they use their collective power to become agents of democratic change?
- newly elected Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign manifesto, “A Compassionate Maithri Governance: A Stable Country,”
- Newsweek Polska's interview with Boris Nemtsov just hours before he was gunned down in Moscow on February 27,
- opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's statement of innocence issued after the Federal Court of Malaysia upheld his sodomy conviction and 5-year sentence on February 10, and
- a statement issued by Maina Kiai, the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, at the conclusion of his visit to Kazakhstan on January 27.