Volume: 
24
Issue: 
1

Arab Democracy or Islamist Revolution?

Although Olivier Roy and others argue that current circumstances will push ascendant Islamist parties in a democratic direction, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood remains committed to the revolutionary goals that have animated it since its beginnings.

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There Will Be No Islamist Revolution

The Muslim Brotherhood is no longer a revolutionary movement, but rather a conservative one.

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China at the Tipping Point? Foreseeing the Unforeseeable

The resilience of the Chinese authoritarian regime is approaching its limits. A breakthrough moment could be triggered by several kinds of events.

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China at the Tipping Point? Authoritarianism and Contestation

Despite the considerable resilience demonstrated by the Chinese authoritarian regime, its power experiences continuous atrophy. With the weakening of the totalitarian control imposed on Chinese society, the current stability-maintenance system has been decreasing in its effectiveness.

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China at the Tipping Point? Top-Level Reform or Bottom-Up Revolution?

There are two sharply contrasting and controversial perspectives on China’s near- to medium-term future: top-level reform and bottom-up revolution.

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China at the Tipping Point? Goodbye to Gradualism

China is heading toward a tipping point, with two likely scenarios for how a political opening will come about. Most Chinese intellectuals think that only gradualism—“slow and steady,” step-by-step reform—can offer China a safe and feasible path toward liberal democracy. But they are wrong. Instead of “taking it slow,” China should shun gradualism and opt instead for a quick transition powered by early nationwide elections.

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China at the Tipping Point? The Rising Cost of Stability

Although the Chinese Communist Party has tried to institutionalize the political system in the reform era, such efforts have been hampered by the Maoist legacy. To cope with challenges from the society, the CCP mainly relies on a highly centralized and resource-intensive weiwen system, and shows little respect for institutional differentiation and formal procedures.

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China at the Tipping Point? The Turn Against Legal Reform

Over the past decade, Chinese authorities have turned against many of the legal reforms they themselves had enacted in the late 20th century. Lawyers have come under increased pressure. Political campaigns warning against rule-of-law norms have rippled through the courts. And central authorities have massively increased funding for extralegal institutions aimed at curtailing and suppressing citizen discontent.

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China at the Tipping Point? The Troubled Periphery

The response of the Chinese state (and of Chinese society at large) to the problems of the country’s periphery—Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia, as well as hundreds of counties, prefectures, and townships in Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and other areas—is piling more tension and misery upon the populations there, but it is not undermining state power.

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China at the Tipping Point? From “Fart People” to Citizens

In recent years, Chinese netizens have shown boundless creativity and ingenuity in expressing themselves despite government restrictions on online speech. Will new political discourse give birth to a new political identity? Are new forms of networked communication enhancing opportunities for social change and helping to move China toward a “threshold” for political transformation?

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Egypt: Why Liberalism Still Matters

Egypt’s liberals, though they do not dominate political life and perhapsnever will, remain a crucial force in shaping the country’s politics.

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Controlling Corruption Through Collective Action

Political competition by itself does not curb corruption. Societies must also have a combination of values, social capital, civil society, and civic culture in order to impose effective normative constraints on corruption.

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A New Chance for Georgian Democracy

In October 2012, Georgia’s government lost power in an election, and peacefully stepped aside. But can a country with Georgia’s troubled history capitalize on this surprising achievement?

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Mexico’s 2012 Elections: The Return of the PRI

In July voting, the PRI regained control of the presidency that it had held for seven decades prior to the year 2000. Is this a “new” PRI, or will it return to its old authoritarian ways?

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Regime Types and Democratic Sequencing

How should we define the stages of democracy and their sequencing? Although some scholars argue that the rule of law should come first, today it should be viewed as the final piece of the liberal-democratic puzzle.

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Southeast Asia: In The Shadow of China

Given Southeast Asia’s relatively high level of socioeconomic development, we might expect it to be a showcase of democracy. Yet it is not. To grasp why, one must look to deeper factors of history and geography.

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Papua New Guinea: From Coup to Reconciliation

A 2011 power struggle spawned a crisis that marred Papua New Guinea’s unbroken record of democratic rule. Has the country found its way back?

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Books in Review: Building Democratic Militaries

A review of The Soldier and the Changing State: Building Democratic Armies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas by Zoltan Barany.

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Election Watch

Reports on recent elections in Belarus, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Ghana, Kuwait, Lithuania, Montenegro, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Ukraine, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.

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Documents on Democracy

  • The Democracy Courage Tribute was awarded to human-rights activists in Bahrain at the 7th Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy and accepted on their behalf by Maryam al-khawaja.
  • Several weeks before being shot by masked gunmen, 14-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai accepted the Pakistan Centre for Civic Education's Civic Courage Award.
  • Excerpts from Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s televised address conceding his party's defeat in the October 1 elections; and excerpts from opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili's statement clarifying his postelection call for Saakashvili to resign.
  • Excerpts from the December 2012 inaugural address of newly elected Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
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