Democracy

Stock trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Market response to the coronavirus, China deflecting blame, and the dawn of post-democratic Europe.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his state of the nation address in Budapest on Feb. 18, 2018.

The Shocking ‘Coronavirus Coup’ in Hungary Was a Wake-Up Call

While the world is shut down, history hasn’t stopped. Authoritarians are seizing the opportunity.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Coronavirus and the Dawn of Post-Democratic Europe

Hungary has used the pandemic to abandon its last vestiges of democracy—and to dare the EU to do anything about it.

A military patrol walks past the empty Louvre Pyramid in Paris on March 28. The country has introduced fines for people caught violating its nationwide lockdown measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Authoritarianism in the Time of the Coronavirus

The pandemic offers dictators—and democracies alike—an opportunity for abuse.

A street vendor sits next to banners of the presidential candidate for the National Unity and Alliance for Change party (APNU+AFC) David Granger, in Georgetown, Guyana, on March 1, 2020.

Ethnic Conflict Threatens Democracy in Guyana

The country’s simmering ethnic tensions threaten to undermine a fragile democratic system and bring on the resource curse before the proceeds from massive offshore oil discoveries arrive.

Workers at unload protective gear bound for Italy from an Austrian Airlines flight from China, at Vienna Airport on March 23, 2020.

How China is Exploiting the Coronavirus to Weaken Democracies

Beijing is using the pandemic to drive wedges between members of the European Union, and to advance its propaganda war against the United States.

Posters of Chinese President Xi Jinping are plastered on the ground during protests at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, on Sept. 26, 2019.

Yes, Blame China for the Virus

A bungled response in Western countries is no reason to take the heat off China. If China had a different government, the world could have been spared this terrible pandemic.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok flashes the victory sign during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Omar al-Bashir, in Khartoum on Dec. 25, 2019.

Sudan Has a Window of Opportunity. The West Shouldn’t Squander It.

The country’s democratic transition is working, but without international support, it could fail.

A man holds a poster displaying Togolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre on April 11, 2015 in Lome, Togo.

West African Leaders Are Rolling Back Democratic Gains

Taking a page from Vladimir Putin's playbook, undemocratic leaders in Guinea and Togo are seeking to extend their rule through ostensibly democratic means.

A voter walks to a voting booth in Bedford, New Hampshire, during the New Hampshire primary.

What Washington Can Learn About Elections—From Abroad

The United States has aided polarized democracies in countries from Kenya to Sri Lanka. It’s time to apply those lessons at home.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for a group photo at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28, 2019.

Foreign Interference Starts at Home

The West is obsessing about how its democracies are under attack—except when it comes to all the self-inflicted damage.

Iraqi demonstrators lift a poster of premier-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi

Iraq Needs Regime Change Again

Musical chairs in the Iraqi parliament can no longer solve the country's problems.

Wallace Mazon holds a sign calling for the abolition of the Iowa caucuses outside the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines on Feb. 4.

If Iowa Were in Africa, International Observers Would Be Crying Foul

The process and results of the Iowa caucuses would be roundly denounced and challenged in the courts in most developing countries. So why are they allowed to stand in the United States?

British best-selling author John le Carré on Oct. 16, 2017. Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images

Could a Spy Save Liberal Democracy?

John Le Carré’s latest protagonist bridges his old and new heroes, contending with the question of loyalty to a liberal society in crisis.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok arrives prior to a bilateral meeting with the European Union's minister for foreign affairs and security policy at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 11, 2019.

Sudan’s New Prime Minister Grapples With His Country’s Past

Abdalla Hamdok wasn't sure he wanted the job, but six months later there is reason to hope—despite the failed mutiny this week.

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi stands before the UN International Court of Justice on Dec. 10, 2019, in the Hague.

Myanmar Has Blazed a Path to Democracy Without Rights

Aung San Suu Kyi’s persecution of the Rohingya paved the way for Modi.

Domingos Simões Pereira campaigns in São Domingos, Guinea-Bissau, on Nov. 9.

Is Liberal Democracy Always the Answer?

Guinea-Bissau challenges the imposition of Western forms of government.

New and old forms of wind power

There’s Only One Way for Democracies to Save the Planet

The Netherlands is taking the lead in solving climate change—and proving that the rest of the West is doing democracy wrong.

Sudanese people celebrate in the streets of Khartoum on July 5 after ruling generals and protest leaders announced they reached an agreement on the disputed issue of a new governing body.

The Enemies of Sudan’s Democracy Are Lurking Everywhere

The country successfully toppled a dictator. Now it's in an epic battle to secure freedom.

People in Hawassa, Ethiopia, celebrate the results of a referendum

Sidama Statehood Vote Throws a Wrench in Abiy Ahmed’s Plans for Ethiopia

Ethno-regional divisions might tear apart hopes of unifying power at the center.