January 2015

Volume 26, Issue 1

The Weight of Geopolitics

Can democracy prosper when democratic countries are in geopolitical retreat? History cautions against the notion that democracy will inevitably prevail.


The Myth of Democratic Recession

In contrast to the conventional wisdom that democracy is in retreat worldwide, the evidence tells a different story: The state of global democracy has been stable over the last decade and is actually better than it was in the 1990s.

Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose

From small beginnings, democracy aid has become a sizeable enterprise. Today it is beset by problems, however, as it must operate in a less friendly environment. Hard decisions will need to be made to maintain its relevance.

Has the Door Closed on Arab Democracy?

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, democracy in the Arab world seems farther away today than at any point in the last 25 years. If it is to ever arrive, it will likely be through a more evolutionary and elite-driven process.

India, Sri Lanka, and the Majoritarian Danger

Does the electoral victory of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party signal that the world’s largest democracy may be following Sri Lanka toward a politics where the will of the majority is exalted above minority rights?

China’s Challenge

As China’s power grows, will it seek to remake the world in its authoritarian image? For now, China shows no such missionary impulse, but the ways in which it pursues its interests can still threaten the fate of democracy.

Election Watch

Reports on elections in Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Liberia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Romania, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from: an open letter by the Hong Kong Federation of Students to Chinese premier Li Keqiang; the campaign manifesto of former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, who was proclaimed Afghanistan’s president; the third annual Carlos Cardoso Memorial Lecture; an open letter calling for the release of human-rights activist Liu Xiaobo.