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.
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 »
Political scientists have long assumed that a strong state is a prerequisite for a well-functioning democracy. Recent research suggests that this assumption is wrong. “Building a modern democratic state in Afghanistan where the government’s writ runs uniformly throughout the country implies a timeframe of many years, indeed decades,” wrote the former American Secretary of State… Read more »
In 2019, millions of Hong Kong citizens took to the streets to protest a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong authorities to extradite suspected criminals to mainland China. The protests soon developed into a movement, demanding full universal suffrage, amnesty of arrested protestors, and an independent inquiry to investigate police brutality. Known as the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (Anti-ELAB) Movement, this led to a landslide victory… Read more »
A study of flawed democracies and semi-dictatorships describes a common pattern of events as follows: After having lost an election, the sitting president claims that the election was invalid, whereupon he attempts a coup d’état and his supporters storm the parliament. A few years ago, this sequence of events would have been unthinkable in any… Read more »
The UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) is a major achievement. It has focused the world’s attention on the human aspects of development, highlighting and featuring not just economic gains but also schooling and education and life expectancy. In this, it was a hugely important corrective for a development community that tended to have a pure… Read more »
Mali cannot afford another rushed and destabilizing election process. Sustaining and strengthening international cooperation should be the first priority, even if this implies a temporary military regime.
COVID-19 is the most severe pandemic since 1918. Beyond the harrowing humanitarian costs, large-scale economic disruptions are underway that can lead to crisis and conflict. The epidemiological advice is clear: flatten the curve, whatever it takes. Any society presented with the choice between world war-levels of casualties and temporary disruptions of social and economic life… Read more »
Authoritarian structures made Chernobyl an unavoidable accident. The HBO series “Chernobyl” has garnered rave reviews all over the world. Norwegian newspapers have been almost unanimous in their praise of the series. And with good reason. This is television drama at its very best. One largely overlooked aspect of the series is what it teaches us… Read more »
All across Europe, we see growing opposition to immigration. Tough measures imposed by governments are limiting immigration but are not having the same effect on opposition to immigration. Mounting polarization is putting Europe’s democracies as well as European cooperation to the test. I recently visited Warsaw, and then travelled on to Berlin. The capitals of… Read more »