Regime change will always be a feature of political life, but we are unlikely to see again transitions to democracy on the scale of the “third wave.”
Volume 25, Issue 3
The Maidan and Beyond
The events surrounding the EuroMaidan cannot be understood apart from the preceding five years of increasingly corrupt and authoritarian rule.
Despite the spirit of participation that characterized the Maidan, organized civil society groups were not a key factor.
Survey data reveal the makeup of the crowds in the Maidan and the factors that motivated them to take part in the protests.
Media, both new and traditional and both Russian and Ukrainian, played a major role in the EuroMaidan story from the very outset.
Russian propagandists—echoed by some Western commentators—portray Ukraine as a hotbed of nationalist extremism. The truth is quite different.
Controlling corruption is a huge challenge for Ukraine, especially in the natural-gas industry. The steps needed are well understood, if only the political will to take them can be summoned.
The regime of Vladimir Putin has been a key driver of the crisis in Ukraine. Under challenge at home for several years now, it turned to Ukraine in part to firm up its own grip on power in Russia.
Ukrainians flocked to the Maidan to express a “choice for Europe,” but they may also have forged the beginnings of a new Ukrainian identity.
The year 2013 featured unprecedented strides for gay rights in some parts of the world, particularly in Western Europe and the Americas, but also startling setbacks elsewhere, as in Russia and some countries in Africa.
The hegemonic-party systems of Taiwan and Mexico began to loosen in the 1980s, eventually yielding to democracy. Malaysia’s ruling party, by contrast, has tightened the reins of power in the face of increasing opposition.
Russia has witnessed a growing rapprochement between some of its nationalists and some of its democrats, but this trend is threatened by divisions over the annexation of Crimea.
Tiny countries have come in for praise as miniature models of democracy, but closer examination tells a mainly more somber tale.
In February 2014, Salvadorans narrowly elected as president a former FMLN guerrilla commander, but he will have to deal with a dire economy and horrific levels of crime.
In order to mark democracy’s progress and to inform policy, we need to be able to measure democracy in sufficient detail. The V-Dem Project aims to deliver exactly such a tool.
A review of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East by Shadi Hamid.
Reports on elections in Afghanistan, Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritania, Panama, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, and Ukraine.
Excerpts from: the inaugural address of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko; “My Ideals and the Career Path I Have Chosen,” an autobiographical essay by by Ilham Tohti; a speech given by Chinese lawyer and civil-rights activist Chen Guangcheng to mark the impending twenty-fifth anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square.