Democracy and the Quality of the State

What is the relationship between high-quality state administration and democracy? A look back at modern Greece and Italy, along with Germany and 
the United States, provides some insights.


Reflections on “Governance”

“Governance,” once merely a synonym for government, has taken on new meanings that tend to downplay the importance of the political. But can “good governance” be achieved today without the protections of liberal democracy?


Tracking the "Arab Spring": Why the Modest Harvest?

Popular uprisings have occurred only in some Arab states and in even fewer have authoritarian rulers been overthrown. What factors allow us to predict whether an authoritarian regime will be vulnerable?


Tracking the "Arab Spring": Egypt’s Failed Transition

The July 2013 military takeover has squashed democratic hopes in Egypt, at least for now. How did things go so wrong, and what lessons are to be drawn from this lamentable episode?

Listen to the podcast with Author Nathan Brown [mp3]

PDF icon Tracking the "Arab Spring": Egypt's Failed Transition

Tracking the "Arab Spring": Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism

The Assad regime has been adapting to the new challenges posed by mass uprisings through a process of “authoritarian learning,” and at least some of its methods are being applied elsewhere in the region.

Watch an interview with the author.

PDF icon Tracking the "Arab Spring": Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism

Tracking the "Arab Spring": Yemen Changes Everything... And Nothing

A long-ruling strongman president has been unseated by popular unrest and a negotiated transition is under way, but to many Yemenis this all appears to be a change more of appearance than of substance.


Tracking the "Arab Spring": Libya Starts from Scratch

Qadhafi is gone after subjecting his country to a brutal dictatorship for more than four decades, but the devastated institutional landscape that he left behind bodes ill for Libya’s democratic prospects.


The Third Wave: Inside the Numbers

Is democracy threatened by a “reverse wave”? Examining regional patterns and distinguishing between different types of democracy gives us a new basis for assessing this question.

Listen to the podcast with authors Jørgen Møller and Svend-Erik Skaaning [mp3]

PDF icon The Third Wave: Inside the Numbers MORE

Paraguay and the Politics of Impeachment

The phenomenon of the “interrupted presidency” remains a key source of democratic instability in Latin America, as was demonstrated once again by the 2012 impeachment of Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo.


Research Report: Assessing the Quality of Elections

Determining whether an election has met international standards is a pressing issue for both practitioners and scholars. An important new study aims to systematize the assessment of electoral integrity.


Malaysia’s Elections: A Step Backward

Despite losing the popular vote, Malaysia’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional triumphed again in the country’s 2013 elections, disappointing an emboldened opposition that had high hopes after a strong performance in 2008.


Exchange: Reexamining African Elections

Do even unfree and unfair elections in sub-Saharan Africa, if repeated often enough, really contribute to democratization? A fresh look at the evidence casts doubt on the theory of “democratization by elections.”


Exchange: Confusing Categories, Shifting Targets

Staffan Lindberg replies to Matthijs Bogaards’s critique, finding the latter’s methodology problematic and arguing that the evidence for association between repeated elections and democratization remains strong.


Separated at Birth?

A review of The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy in India and Autocracy in Pakistan by Maya Tudor.