July 2005

Volume 16, Issue 3


Transitions from Postcommunism

The years since 2000 have seen a surprising new wave of democratic breakthroughs in postcommunist lands as varied as Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Can we identify any factors common to each case?

The New Iraq

The New Iraq: The Sistani Factor

For the Shi'ite majority and its senior religious leader, the January elections played out against the background of a longing for justice that has deep spiritual sources as well as more recent sociopolitical roots.

A Fresh Look at Semipresidentialism

Lula’s Brazil at Midterm

Many saw the election of Workers' Party leader Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva to the Brazilian presidency in October 2002 as the beginning of an era. Two years into his first term, Lula has yet to live up to that expectation.

Costa Rica: Paradise in Doubt

Once routinely praised as the "Switzerland of Central America," Costa Rica has in recent years begun to show troubling signs of having a political system that citizens feel is not keeping faith with them.

Promoting Transparency in Angola

Natural-resource wealth has been at the root of Angola's corruption and authoritarianism. By giving leverage to those pushing for reform, however, it has also become a key factor in teh struggle for accountability.

Election Watch

Reports on elections in Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

Documents on Democracy

Excerpts from: a joint statement to the Kyrgyz nation issued by the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine; the Madrid Agenda; a letter issued by five hundred Chinese human rights and democracy activists; the third UN Development Programme Arab Human Development Report; a secret audio audio message recorded by Thich Quang Do, deputy leader of the…