Courtesy Reuters


Though often oversold, the trend toward democratic government that began in southern Europe in the mid-1970s, swept through Latin America in the 1980s, and spread to many parts of Asia, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Africa in the late 1980s and early 1990s has been an important phenomenon. Together with the demise of Soviet-sponsored communism and the globalization of the international economic system, it propelled the world from the postwar period into a new era. The spread of democracy has by no means eradicated political repression or conflict, but it has tremendously increased

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