Democratization

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Snapshot,
Jonathan Schlefer

It is hard to reconcile Peña Nieto’s status as person of the year and gangster in chief. But, as a symbol of the Mexican state, he is indeed both. And, strange as it may seem, both aspects of state power derive from St. Thomas Aquinas’ medieval ideal of governance.

Snapshot,
Marina Ottaway

After three years of battles in the streets, in the National Constituent Assembly, and at the ballot box, Tunisia has officially completed its formal transition to democracy.

Letter From,
Alina Polyakova

A militant nationalist and a crook walk into a bar. It might sound like the beginning of a clichéd joke, but in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, the characters are all too real, and the “bar” is Electoral District 217 in the country’s capital, Kiev.

Snapshot,
Rebecca Liao

The Fourth Plenum took a bureaucratic view of the judiciary, treating it as an ally to the regime in improving governance rather than as the people’s advocate against that regime.

Snapshot,
Intissar Fakir and Maati Monjib

Arab Spring–driven reforms might have seemed inconsequential when they were introduced in 2011. But they may be changing Morocco’s political system more than anticipated.

Snapshot,
Brian Klaas and Marcel Dirsus

On October 26, Tunisians will finally have a real and unrestricted choice at the polls. Other transitioning regimes in the Middle East and the world should take note: Democracy is not about exclusion, but about giving people a genuine choice—even, or especially, when it’s an uncomfortable one.

Snapshot,
John Delury

There is nothing inevitable about democratization China. But neither, as one former Obama administration official argued, is the students’ call for genuine democracy a mere “pipe dream.” For what history does record are long and hard-fought struggles between competing visions of political life and social order, and the students in Hong Kong have made themselves heard and their vision known.

Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan’s next president. The process has been infuriating. But the end result was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.

Snapshot,
C. Christine Fair

There is very little that Pakistan's prime minister could do now to contain the damage that the army and its two marionettes -- Qadri and Khan -- have already inflicted with massive protests.

Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

Preliminary tallies suggest that Jokowi won Indonesia's July 9 presidential election, but his competitor, Prabowo, is not guaranteed to go quietly. The stakes could hardly be higher: Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has been a showpiece of democracy in Asia. The final count will either solidify this narrative, or toss it right out the window.

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