Democracy

A supporter of Congolese leader Joseph Kabila holds a picture of the president outside Parliament in Kinshasa on July 19.

Did Kabila Just Bring Democracy to Congo?

The country’s strongman plans to step down, but the United States must tread carefully.

A vendor scurries for cover as soldiers disperse demonstrators in Harare on Aug. 1. Protests erupted in the Zimbabwean capital over alleged electoral fraud. (Zinyange Auntony/AFP/Getty Images)

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Is Old Wine in a New Bottle

The government’s crackdown proves that the ruling party will hold on to power by any means necessary.

Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman speaks during a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis March 22, 2018 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mohammed bin Salman Is Weak, Weak, Weak

Saudi Arabia has started a crisis with Canada because it doesn't want to admit its own failings.

Protesters hold a banner reading "Stand up for decent Slovakia" during a protest in Bratislava, Slovakia, on June 22, 2018, four months after the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee.

Press Freedom Is Still Under Attack in Slovakia

A journalist’s murder shocked the country in February, but it hasn’t led to a more independent media.

The chairman of Turkey's  Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R), speaks with Muharrem Ince (L), as they attend the Party's 36th ordinary congress in Ankara, on February on 3, 2018.

Turkey’s Opposition Lost to Erdogan, Then It Lost Its Mind

Since the June election, the country’s various opposition parties have collapsed into chaos, leaving the president without a credible challenger.

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega (L) delivers a speech beside Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo (R), president of the National Commission for Verification, Reconciliation, Peace and Justice of the Sandinista government, on November 03, 2008 in Managua. (MIGUEL ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

How a Nicaraguan Priest Made a Deal With the Devil

Catholic clerics have been on the frontlines protesting Daniel Ortega's bloody crackdown—but one of them also helped fuel his rise.

People make the fascist salute at La Basilica The Valley of Fallen in San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid on July 15, 2018, as they protest against the removal of Franco's remains from The Valley of Fallen. (JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Spain’s Dictator Is Dead, but the Debate About Him Lives On

Francisco Franco ran Spain with an iron fist for decades—and created myths about his rule that are only now starting to come undone.

Former Pakistani Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Shaukat Aziz. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images/Aamir Queshi/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images)

No One Has Ever Completed a Term as Pakistan’s PM

A checkered democratic history, from 1947 to the present day.

Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (second from the right), Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi (center), Pakistani Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan (top-right) and Pakistani Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Zubair Mahmood Hayat (second from left) arrive to receive Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on March 23. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images)

No Matter Who Wins Pakistan’s Vote, the Nation Loses

The military thinks elections give it a facade to rule from above. But that plan keeps backfiring.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on August  30, 2016. (Abir Sultan/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel’s Knesset Is Debating Democracy Itself

A new law before the Israeli parliament would demote Arabic as an official language — and undermine equality.

John Tomac illustration for Foreign Policy

Our Data, Ourselves

How to stop tech firms from monopolizing our personal information.

Photograph of Judith Shklar, March 1972. UAV 605.295.11, Box 3.  Harvard University Archives.

Who’s Afraid of Judith Shklar?

Meet the American philosopher who showed that Western politics could only move forward by first taking a step backward.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) supporters attend a mass meeting addressed by West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on July 21, 2016.
(DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s Secularists Have an Authoritarianism Problem

Indians are increasingly forced to choose between Hindu nationalism and egalitarian dictatorship.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepping out of a 212 A submarine of the German Marine in Rostock Warnemuende, northeastern Germany. (JENS BUETTNER/AFP/Getty Images)

3 Versions of Europe Are Collapsing at the Same Time

Post-1945, post-1968, and post-1989 Europe are all different — and none of them make sense anymore.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the Federal Chancellery on July 5, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. (Michael Gruber/Getty Images)

The Future of Europe, for Better or Worse, Is Sebastian Kurz

Austria's chancellor thinks he's cracked the code for neutralizing populists — by cooperating with them.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan sign agreements in Ankara on December 18, 2013. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Die, but Authoritarianism Is Forever

It’s reassuring to think authoritarian governments depart with their leaders. It’s also wrong.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) gives a speech after being officially sworn in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017.

Zimbabwe Needs Genuine Democracy, Not Window Dressing

As the country prepares for the first post-Mugabe elections, the United States and its allies must use all the leverage they have to demand genuine reform.

Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado (C) takes part in a women's march in Caracas on May 6, 2017.

Don’t Let Venezuela’s Government Smear the Opposition’s Brightest Star

Maduro’s autocratic regime is going after María Corina Machado because she is fearless and incorruptible. She needs Washington’s support.

A supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders yells at a Trump supporter at MLK Jr. Park on Aug. 27, 2017 in Berkeley, California. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

America’s Uncivil Protests Are Straight Out of Latin America

Donald Trump’s domestic critics are following South America’s successful anti-strongman playbook.

Brazilian congressman and presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, waves to the crowd during a military event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 3, 2018.

Latin America’s Center Cannot Hold If It Doesn’t Exist

Mainstream establishment parties across the continent have been replaced by populists offering easy and empty answers.

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