Democratization

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Snapshot,
Jere Van Dyk

Although the identity of Afghanistan's next president is uncertain, Afghans know for sure that it will not be Hamid Karzai, who has held power for 12 years. In keeping with his country’s 2004 constitution, he agreed to step down after his second term was up. That has never happened before in Afghanistan, and it marks the true introduction of democracy in this shattered land.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Last week, Erdogan banned Twitter to try to prevent the spread of recordings of incriminating conversations between him and members of his family and inner circle. By exposing the prime minister’s abuses of power, the dirty dealings of the Gülenists (Erdogan's foes and likely purveyors of the recordings), and the weakness of the opposition, the scandal raises doubts about the future of Turkish democracy.

Snapshot,
Ian Shapiro

Robert Dahl died on February 5 at the age of 98. He might well have been the most important political scientist of the last century, and he was certainly one of its preeminent social scientists

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

In power for over a decade, Turkey's Islamists are proving to be their own worst enemy. The alliance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP and the movement of Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric who leads his congregation from self-imposed exile in the United States, is imploding. As it does, the public is losing faith in both and the military is gearing up to insert itself into politics once more.

Snapshot,
Joshua Stacher

Anyone who claims to possess full political power in post-Mubarak Egypt is lying. That even goes for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military’s commander in chief and Egypt’s current defense minister, whose impending presidential candidacy reveals the military's weakness more than strength.

Postscript,
Annabelle Chapman

Ukraine's prime minister resigned on Tuesday. It might have seemed like a perfect opportunity for Ukraine’s three opposition leaders to step in and take his place. Instead, it put them in a difficult situation.

Letter From,
Duncan McCargo

Railing against the Yingluck Shinawatra-led government in Thailand might provide some instant gratification for Bangkok’s frustrated middle classes, but these are the moves of people who are in deep denial about political realities: Thailand’s urbanized villagers -- among whom Yingluck and her brother, Thaksin, remain popular -- are the country’s future.

Snapshot,
Annabelle Chapman

In recent weeks, three opposition politicians have attempted to guide the protests in Ukraine: Vitali Klitschko, Oleh Tyahnybok, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. With violence now rising in Kiev’s Independence Square, they must decide what to do next.

Snapshot,
Stanley A. Weiss and Tim Heinemann

Most of Myanmar’s most desirable natural resources are located in the ethnic-minority-dominated borderlands that surround the country like a horseshoe. If Western businesses attempt to invest in those areas without also pushing the central government for greater federalism and dialogue, it will be playing a direct role in a slow-motion apartheid.

Snapshot,
Steven A. Cook

During the AKP decade there have, no doubt, been important changes in Turkish politics, in particular the participation of marginalized groups. But the ongoing corruption scandal illustrates that, at the same time, Turkey is still far -- as far as it was in the 1990s -- from democracy.

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