Debating Electoral Systems: Getting Elections Wrong

January 2012

Evidence from waves of democratization shows proportional election systems, however imperfect, to be the better option in most contexts.

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Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Global Context

October 2011

Although the Arab revolts have a long way to go before they can be counted as gains for democracy, they do underline what is perhaps democracy’s greatest source of strength worldwide—its superior legitimacy.

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Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Lessons of 1989

October 2011

The Arab events of 2011 may have some similarities to the wave of popular upheavals against authoritarianism that swept the Soviet bloc starting in 1989, but the differences are much more fundamental.

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Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Role of the Military

October 2011

Across the Arab world, militaries have played a key role in determining whether revolts against dictatorship succeed or fail. What factors determine how and why “the guys with guns” line up the way they do?

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Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Impact of Election Systems

October 2011

Methods of electing legislatures are fraught with consequences for the shape and quality of democracy, and must balance a number of competing goals. Amid the current political ferment of the Arab world, what kinds of electoral systems are emerging and what will they mean for democratic hopes there?

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