What can be done with regimes that proclaim their devotion to democratic principles but violate them in practice?
Volume 16, Issue 4
Iran's Peculiar Election
The May 2005 presidential election capped a process of conservative reentrenchment, but with a surprising populist twist.
The June 2005 presidential ballot marks the culmination of the regime’s effort to dominate even the limited powers of the popularly elected offices.
In the lines of suffering etched on the visage of this courageous dissident may be read the drama of Iran today.
Given the unaccountable authority of the supreme leader, the Islamic Republic should be classified as a sultanistic regime. In such regimes, democratic change is more likely to come from nonviolent resistance than from internal reform.
The election results reflect less what voters want than the ideological dynamics that shape the behavior of factions within the regime.
The large number of nonvoters suggests that the movement for a free, internationally monitored referendum on the Islamic Republic’s constitution could gain widespread support. We must now work to make that so.
Basic demographic and socioeconomic factors in Iran are favorable to democratization. The mullahs may hope to stave off democratic change by emulating the Chinese model, but this strategy is doomed to fail.
Having drawn lessons from the downfall of some of his fellow autocrats, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is preventing the emergence of an effective democratic movement in Belarus.
While Cambodia is often thought of as a “transitional” democracy and as a case where UN intervention succeeded, the truth is quite different.
Recent works on regime types have led to confusion and a tendency to overstate the differences between established and newer democracies.
Nepal’s people find themselves caught in an ugly struggle between two antidemocratic ideologies—royal absolutism and Maoism. What happened?
In May, Ethiopia held its first genuinely competitive elections. The strong showing of opposition parties gives hope for a more democratic future.
From hurricanes to ethnic and political tensions, the past decade has not been easy for the countries of the Caribbean Community. What does the future hold for these small democracies?
A review of Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy by Eric C. Bjornlund.
Reports on elections in Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Poland, and Suriname.
Excerpts from: speeches commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the “Polish August”; the Bamako Declaration of the African Statesmen Initiative; an open letter in recognition of Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday.