Campaigns & Elections

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Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

If Afghanistan’s politics were a stock market, one could make easy money with an investment strategy consisting of only one word: “sell.” Bad news is the norm, and good news is often a lie. And that is why the nation’s election to decide who should replace Hamid Karzai as president was so confusing.

Snapshot,
Sumit Ganguly

For the first time in independent India’s history, a general election has brought a conservative party with a clear-cut parliamentary majority to office. Although scores of analysts have weighed in about what that party -- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- will do next, three other questions have gone unanswered. First, why has India never had a sizeable conservative party of any consequence? Second, why has it taken the country over six decades to elect a conservative regime? Third, what are the prospects for conservatism in India in the future?

Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

Modi's record and rhetoric have raised fears about how his government will treat India's minorities and the country's neighbors. But the very size of his victory may be reason for optimism. With no need to fire up his electoral base, Modi has considerable room to take a less confrontational approach -- both domestically and abroad.

Snapshot,
Ira Trivedi

There is no doubt that the economic development that Modi promises is important. But there is also no doubt that social development -- more equality for religious groups, more gender parity, and more economic fairness -- is the best way to ensure the country's success in the long term. It seems unlikely that a politician who stands for the empowerment of one group over others can give India what it really needs.

Snapshot,
Reidar Visser

Tomorrow, Iraqis will head to the polls and bring to an end an election season in which Iraqi politics have refused to play by the old sectarian rules. In fact, most major ethno-sectarian parties have fractured and, in some cases, key political issues are starting to cut across religious identities.

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.

Postscript,
Keith Darden

For the first time since 1989, Europe is transforming. The primary protagonists, by most accounts, are Russia and the West. The bit of territory that they are clawing at -- Ukraine -- has largely been eclipsed. Yet inattention to Ukraine’s internal demons reflects a dangerous misreading of current events.

Snapshot,
Manjari Chatterjee Miller

Observers may blanch at the prospect of a Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom they fear would apply his Hindu nationalist beliefs to Indian foreign policy. But they should remember that, for the past five decades, Indian foreign policy has been broadly consistent and any changes had little to do with the prime minister’s political ideology.

Snapshot,
Joshua Yaffa

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny lost this week's Moscow mayoral election. Nonetheless, one is left with the sense that even though the Kremlin manages to land punch after punch, winning each round on points, somehow the match isn’t going its way.

Snapshot,
Jean-Philippe Dedieu

Mali held a presidential runoff election this weekend. Here's why the vote of the country's diaspora will determine the next government's political legitimacy.

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