Two weeks ago, the Monkey Cage ran a piece by Matthew Baum and Phil Potter suggesting that the policy of “democracy-promotion” has gone out of style. I think they’re right that in many circles democracy-promotion is politically passé and that, more broadly, democracy advocates are really having a tough couple of years. In the midst… Read more »
East Africa has become the latest hotspot for oil-and-gas discoveries, but the reserves are located in countries characterized by weak state institutions and social unrest. A number of African countries – several of them with significant Norwegian assistance – are on the threshold of becoming major producers of oil and gas. Does this mean that… Read more »
Is there any measurable way to tell whether police become more or less focused on crime prevention and public safety in nations that are not fully democratic? Interesting question. I guess answering it would have to start with a good theory as to why police would change their priorities and behaviors in less democratic countries…. Read more »
The process of democratization is often violent in the short run, and democratic governments are more constrained in their use of force against insurgents than non-democratic authorities. But are democracies really more prone to political violence than other political systems? This is the theme of a short article published at the International Relations and Security… Read more »
In April, 800 hundred million people began casting their ballots all across India in the largest election the world has ever seen. When we think of voting in India, we often picture a poor elderly villager showing a big ink-stained thumb and boasting a wide smile as proof of democracy in action. But elections in… Read more »
Democracy is to a large extent about parties being willing to accept electoral defeat. In Nepal the Maoist Party, previously engaged in guerrilla warfare, has done precisely this.
The ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrated that political transitions tend to occur together in space and time. Samuel Huntington coined the term ‘Waves of democratization’ in his book The Third Wave. The figure above shows that changes to the proportion of the world’s countries that are democracies occurs in spurts. Confirming Huntington’s three waves of democratization, spurts occurred from the … Read more »