Democratization

Workers rearrange the chairs in the plenary hall of the German Bundestag to fit the new seating arrangement for the parties in parliament after the recent election, in Berlin on Oct. 15.

What the German Election Taught America About Democracy

Americans concerned about the future of their democracy can learn from the system they helped install in Germany.

Protesters hold Arabic signs and wave Tunisia's flag during a demonstration.

The Clock Is Ticking for Tunisia’s Saied

Most Tunisians still support the president, but time is limited.

An elderly woman waves a European Union flag in Poland.

The Slow but Steady Strengthening of Europe’s Values

Democratic principles were largely irrelevant to the EU’s founding—but are at the center of the project today.

A U.S. soldier points his gun toward an Afghan passenger

Biden’s Democracy Agenda Just Died an Ugly Death in Kabul

The fall of Afghanistan reveals hard truths about U.S. human rights talks.

Kais Saied speaks with people during his presidential campaign tour in Tunis on September 10, 2019.

Kais Saied Is Not a Dictator

Tunisia’s controversial president is seeking to preserve the legacy of the Arab Spring by stamping out corruption and promoting decentralized democracy.

The Tunisian army barricades the parliament.

Tunisia’s on a Knife-Edge Between Reform and Autocracy

Two weeks after suspending parliament, what road map will Tunisian President Kais Saied gin up?

A Belarusian athlete arrives at an international airport.

The Geopolitical Stakes of Olympic Perfection—and Defection

The Tokyo Games have brought a surge of nationalism and laid bare the methods of autocrats like Belarus’s Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Presidential nominee Joe Biden wears voting sticker.

What Biden Really Thinks About Democracy Promotion

The new U.S president has crafted a novel approach to human rights that’s marked both by idealism and humility.

Tunisian security officers hold back supporters of the country's Islamist Ennahdha party during a protest outside the parliament building in the capital of Tunis.

Tunisia’s Democracy Needs Help. Will Biden Step In?

The place where the Arab Spring began is now a test for an administration that pledged to strengthen global democracy.

People celebrate in the streets of Tunis after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the suspension of parliament and the dismissal of the prime minister on July 25, 2021, after a day of nationwide protests.

How the West Misunderstood Tunisia

If Westerners are shocked at political developments in Tunisia, it’s because they described it as a straightforward success for too long.

A protester lifts a Tunisian national flag during an anti-government rally in front of the parliament in Tunis, Tunisia.

The International Community Must Use Its Leverage in Tunisia

Foreign powers should condemn Kais Saied’s power grab to halt long-term damage to the nascent democracy.

People hold Cuban and U.S. flags during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Hialeah, Florida, July 15.

Biden’s Missed Opportunity in Cuba

The U.S. president’s hard-line rhetoric belies the island’s humanitarian crisis and cedes an opportunity to shape what comes next.

A Libyan teacher waves the flag of Libya’s former monarchy, which was adopted by anti-Muammar al-Qaddafi forces, at the start of the school year in Tripoli on Sept. 18, 2011.

Could a Monarch Heal Libya?

The country needs a unifying figure. Ahead of elections this year, it’s worth considering a constitutional monarchy.

Riot police stand guard outside the house of Cristiana Chamorro, a presidential candidate who was arrested this week, in Managua, Nicaragua, on June 2.

Did Ortega Just Kill Nicaragua’s Democracy?

His arrests of opposition candidates could seal the country’s political fate, but not if Biden fights back now.

Voters line up to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Data Show Democracy Is Thriving

Don’t believe the talk of democratic decline. The world’s belief in self-government is stronger than ever. 

A Chilean holds a flag from the Comunist Party of Chile to celebrate victory after the end Constitutional Convention Elections weekend on May 16 in Santiago, Chile.

Chile’s Constitution Is Too New for Its Own Good

The path is clear for a social democratic revision of its political system—and for a severe backlash.

Georgian opposition supporters wave national flags.

Georgian Democracy Stumbles Onward After Parliament Deal

A six-month stalemate over vote-rigging accusations has been partially, but messily, resolved.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves from No. 10 Downing St. in central London on April 18, 2018.

India’s “Electoral Autocracy” Hits Back

Angry about India’s Freedom House and V-Dem ratings, Modi is creating his own democracy rankings.

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