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January 2021, Volume 32, Issue 1

Why Strongmen Win in Weak States

While analysts of populism have focused on economic woes and “cultural backlash,” a thirst for the restoration of order may better explain the appeal of authoritarian populists in fragile democracies where governance is falling short.

January 2021, Volume 32, Issue 1

The End of the Backsliding Paradigm

Like the “transition paradigm” before it, the concept of democratic backsliding threatens to flatten our perceptions of complex political realities. Examples from East-Central Europe illustrate the ambiguous dynamics at play in many troubled democracies.

January 2021, Volume 32, Issue 1

Japanese Democracy After Shinzo Abe

The retirement of the country’s longest-serving prime minister leaves in place a “continuity administration,” and with it some troubling questions about whether liberal democracy’s “soft guardrails” are being eroded.