This week’s election results handed a surprising victory to the opposition Move Forward Party. While it remains to be seen if the conservative establishment will allow them to actually take power, the vote signals a turning point in the mindset of the Thai public. The Thai political map is now painted with orange, the colour… Read more »
Erdogan Struggles with Securing the Votes of Young People and Women in Turkey’s Fateful Election
In one of Turkey’s most popular soap operas Kizilcik Şerbeti [Cranberry Sorbet] Nursema, a young conservative woman in love with another man, is married off by her family to another against her own wishes. On her wedding night, in an argument with her new husband she is pushed off the balcony. Miraculously surviving, she confronts both… Read more »
Putin’s Political Bubble Tightens Up
Decision-making in the Kremlin had been so erratic — even before the re-invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 — that the proposition of President Vladimir Putin inhabiting a bubble of servile courtiers and carefully doctored information appeared perfectly plausible. Early April 2023 has brought even more evidence supporting this assumption of detachment from reality… Read more »
Taiwan Is Feeling the Pressure from Russian and Chinese Autocracy
Taiwan is where Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s economic underperformance overlap and produce a dangerous resonance. The war may be far away from Taipei, but it brings material problems, like delays in deliveries of U.S. armaments, and disturbing changes in the regional security environment. The end of China’s fast-paced economic growth has resulted in political shifts… Read more »
Governance and Survival after the Earthquake: The Political Complexities of Humanitarian Assistance
The earthquake in Turkey and Syria on 6 February is tragic beyond what we are able to fathom. The World Health Organization’s Europe branch has labelled the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and a secondary 7.6 magnitude aftershock as the region’s “worst natural disaster” in 100 years. By 17 February, there have been near 44 000 registered… Read more »
What Can Somalia’s Federal Member States Learn from Somaliland as They Transition to Multiparty Elections?
Democratisation in the territories of the former ‘Somali Republic’ is influenced by the experience with the 1960s elections. After independence, the Somali republic adopted a parliamentary democracy. However, this democracy was short lived as elections became fraught with malpractices such as rigging, fraud, intimidation, and manipulation.
Civil Society Faces an Uphill Struggle to Defend Democracy
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize jointly to Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, and the Russian human rights organization Memorial for their promotion of “the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens.” This year’s prize constitutes an important and timely recognition… Read more »
Power Cycle in International Politics: Africa’s Role in this Game
Amitav Acharya characterized the current world order as “a world of multiple modernities, where Western liberal modernity (and its preferred pathways to economic development and governance) is only a part of what is on offer”. A world, he adds, of interconnectedness and interdependence, and “not a singular global order, liberal or otherwise, but a complex… Read more »
Why has the Puntland state of Somalia been unable to conduct a ‘one person one vote’ election for over 24 years?
Somalia has not held multiparty elections since late 1969 when the military seized power from a democratically elected government in a bloodless coup. The military remained in control until 1991, followed by thirty years of civil war and political instability. After the collapse of the central government, major clans, notably those in the northwest and… Read more »
Are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping Two of a Kind?
Democracy and separation of powers are in decline. In many countries, individuals have taken all the power into their own hands. This is true not least of Russia and China. Vladimir Putin has used his power to invade Ukraine. Recently, Xi Jinping practised encircling Taiwan. Could Xi be as willing to take risks as Putin?