Democracy

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.

A pro-democracy protester holds a thank-you sign during a Thanksgiving Day rally at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong on Nov. 28.

After Trump’s Hong Kong Democracy Act, China Is Still Winning

The U.S. president may think his surprise move to support the protesters will give him the upper hand in trade negotiations with China—but Xi is likely to call his bluff.

Workers' Party supporters in Singapore

Singapore Isn’t The Next Hong Kong

Claims of political contagion are establishment fantasies.

Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The Rajapaksas Own Sri Lanka Now

Victory for the hard-line political dynasty spells dark times for democracy.

Former President of Poland Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa on Why Democracy Is Failing: ‘There Is No Leadership’

The legendary Polish union leader who helped end the Cold War says the United States and other nations have not done enough to create a new global system of democratic values.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the West Wing of the White House in Washington on April 3, 2017.

Trump to Arab Protesters: I Stand With Your Rulers, Not You

As demonstrations erupt from Iraq to Lebanon to Egypt, the United States is sending strong signals that it no longer has any stomach for democracy promotion.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo shakes hands with Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto

Jokowi Offers Prabowo a Piece of the Pie

The new Indonesian defense minister is a threat to the president—and democracy.

Mmusi Maimane (R), then the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party, and the party's former leader, Helen Zille (L) give a press conference on June 13, 2017 in Johannesburg.

The Democratic Alliance’s Demise Puts South Africa’s Multiparty Democracy at Risk

The implosion of the country’s leading opposition party is bad news for competitive politics and democratic institutions—and its impact will be felt across Africa.

Sébastien Thibault illustration for Foreign Policy

Let a Thousand Parties Bloom

The only way to prevent America’s two-party system from succumbing to extremism is to scrap it altogether.

Fake News Democracy WikiTribune Journalism Model

The Internet Broke the News Industry—and Can Fix It, Too

The only way to save journalism is to make readers direct participants in making, and paying for, the media.

Eva Vázquez illustration for Foreign Policy

The Upside of Populism

The same impulse that brought Trump to power could save U.S. democracy.

Protesters demonstrate against proposed changes to Indonesia's criminal code.

Indonesia’s Activists Are Ready to Fight Together

Coalitions are forming in the face of threats to democracy and pluralism.

World Map

The West Is Open for Dirty Business

The European Union and United States need a joint front against poisonous kleptocracy.

Egyptian protesters shout slogans as they take part in a protest calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo's downtown on September 20, 2019.

Egypt Is Done Waiting for Liberals

A previously unknown Egyptian has started an anti-Sisi protest movement—and is opposed by government and liberal elites alike.