Central Asia’s Globalized Despots

July 2017

A review of Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia by Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw.

Nicaragua: A Return to Caudillismo

April 2017

With the ruling FSLN’s one-sided triumph in the November 2016 elections, Nicaraguan democracy underwent further erosion. The emerging authoritarian party-state, far from being a leftist revolutionary government, is becoming a neopatrimonial dictatorship in an older Latin American style.

Tunisia’s Islamists and the “Turkish Model”

January 2017

Ennahda has long felt an especially strong kinship with Turkey’s AKP, which has seen as representing a combination of piety, prosperity, and democratic credibility. How might their relationship be affected by the AKP's more recent authoritarian turn?

Iraq’s Year of Rage

October 2016
Iraqis of all ethnic and sectarian stripes are fed up with the ineptitude and corruption of their political leaders, parties, and government institutions.

Particularism’s Empire

September 2016

A review of The Quest for Good Governance: How Societies Develop Control of Corruption by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi.

Latin America's New Turbulence: Crisis and Integrity in Brazil

April 2016

Public anger at revelations of widespread corruption, along with the rising cost of coalition politics, has brought Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to the brink of impeachment. Yet the crisis has also revealed the strength of the country’s law-enforcement and judicial institutions.

The Quest for Good Governance: Georgia’s Break with the Past

January 2016

Much can be done to uproot graft when a major event such as the Rose Revolution sweeps in a determined new team on a wave of massive public support.

The Quest for Good Governance: Learning from Virtuous Circles

January 2016

Are the “virtuous circles” crucial to good governance always the product of long-term developments under unique historical circumstances, or can they be started or accelerated by wise policies?

Indonesia’s 2014 Elections: Parliament and Patronage

October 2014
Indonesia’s 2014 legislative elections went smoothly. Yet the “money politics” that featured so heavily in these contests suggests a grave need
to reform the country’s electoral system.

The Maidan and Beyond: Oligarchs, Corruption, and European Integration

July 2014

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.