Over the next decade, a massive wave of new oil and gas discoveries will transform Africa. If the resource curse plays out as it usually does, this oil boom will only serve to entrench authoritarian rule and inhibit democracy. Unless, that is, African governments embrace a radical approach: handing a large share of the new revenues directly to the people as taxable income.
This period of change in the Arab world will not be short or neatly circumscribed, but an ongoing struggle between the forces trying to define the region's future.
How East Asians View Democracy, a collaboration of leading American and East Asian scholars of democracy and public opinion, is a pioneering effort that relies on standardized survey methods to measure East Asians' support for democracy.
The contributors to this conference volume ask not whether China will democratize but how: by following the path of peaceful transition exemplified by Taiwan or in a way that involves more turbulence?
The triumph of democracy was arguably the most important development of the twentieth century, in Latin America as elsewhere. But will Latin America now consolidate its representative democracies and build strong, independent institutions and vibrant, watchful civil societies?
After decades of historic gains, the world has slipped into a democratic recession. Predatory states are on the rise, threatening both nascent and established democracies throughout the world. But this trend can be reversed with the development of good governance and strict accountability and the help of conditional aid from the West.
In this special Web-only feature, Stephen Biddle, Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, and Leslie Gelb analyze the report of the Iraq Study Group and debate what should be done in Iraq.
In this special web-only supplement, Christopher Hitchens, Fred Kaplan, Kevin Drum, and Marc Lynch respond to the roundtable, "What to Do in Iraq."
Can anything -- international mediation, regional collaboration, decentralization, or constitutional negotiations -- save Iraq from a full-fledged civil war and the Bush administration from a foreign policy fiasco?
Two postmortems on the Iraq occupation lambaste Washington for handling the job poorly. But doing much better would be so difficult that perhaps the bar should be raised for going to war in the first place.
Although the early U.S. blunders in the occupation of Iraq are well known, their consequences are just now becoming clear. The Bush administration was never willing to commit the resources necessary to secure the country and did not make the most of the resources it had. U.S. officials did get a number of things right, but they never understood-or even listened to-the country they were seeking to rebuild. As a result, the democratic future of Iraq now hangs in the balance.
Through the improbable device of a military coup, Nigeria has been delivered from dictatorship. To be sure, the form of government remains a military regime, and almost certainly will for many years to come. In fact, much of the top leadership remains the same: the August 27 coup d'état was engineered by high-ranking officers in the fallen government of Major-General Muhammed Buhari and his powerful second in command, Major-General Tunde Idiagbon. Many officers who held key command and government positions under General Buhari continue in power. But the nature and style of rule have been transformed in ways that may have lasting implications for Nigeria's political future.
Once again, Nigeria is governed by the military. For the second time since Independence in 1960, a democratic constitution that was not working has been overthrown in a military coup. Like the first coup 18 years earlier, the action of the soldiers last December 31 has met with broad popular support. Yet it has been a stunning blow to those who had hoped to see democratic institutions prosper in this largest and most potentially powerful African nation, as a model for other African states.