Democratic Transition News

Latin American Program in the News: Guerrilla Leader's Rise To Power In El Salvador Not Expected To Alter Relations With U.S.

Mar 14, 2014
Latin American Program Director Cynthia J. Arnson comments on the relationship between El Salvador and the U.S. in this article about the new El Salvadoran President and the alterations to U.S.-Salvadoran relations that his ascension may cause.

Latin American Program in the News: Venezuela Ally Sanchez Ceren Seeks Presidency in Runoff

Mar 07, 2014
Latin American Program Director Cynthia J. Arnson is quoted in this article about the El Salvadoran presidential runoffs.

Ghannouchi: Tunisia’s New Political Order

Feb 26, 2014
On February 24, Sheikh Rachid al Ghannouchi outlined how Tunisia avoided a political crisis and drafted a constitution despite tension between Islamists and secularists. “In Tunisia, we are learning how to live together and deal with conflicts between secularists and Islamists,” he said at meeting at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Ukraine: Corruption Doesn’t Capture It

Feb 24, 2014
Since it became an independent state 23 years ago, Ukraine has been looted by its structure of government at all levels and those close to it. The word “corruption” is not adequate to present-day Ukraine, and in fact, distorts reality.

Ominous Divide: Shiite Iran vs the Sunni Gulf

Feb 18, 2014
Sectarian tensions have become a major part of political life in the Gulf Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Shiites in each state suffer varying degrees of religious discrimination and political marginalization. Tensions are typically portrayed as a spillover effect of sectarian strife elsewhere in the region or Iran’s deliberate incitement of local Shiite communities. But they are only part of the story.

Crises in Ukraine: 2004 and 2013 in comparative context

Jan 31, 2014
Big scale political crises occur in Ukraine approximately once in a decade, with each next crisis more devastating than the previous one. However, if the crises of 1994 and 2004 resulted in a change of power, the crisis of 2013 so far has not been resolved.

What the West Must Do for Ukraine

Jan 29, 2014
Ukraine is on the verge of spinning out of control. A pro-European protest that began more than two months ago in Kiev’s central square has flared into broad, angry opposition to the authoritarian policies of President Viktor F. Yanukovych. If the United States and European Union wish to encourage a peaceful resolution, they must use their leverage now. Otherwise the situation could degenerate further, to the point where the West will be no more than a spectator.

Islamists Under Fire

Jan 04, 2014
In stark contrast to the euphoria after elections more than two years ago, Islamist political parties across the Middle East now face escalating challenges to their rule. The main drama is playing out in Egypt between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood. But Islamist parties in Tunisia, Libya are also under pressure from emboldened opposition movements.

Tunisia’s Islamists I: Ennahda Withdraws

Dec 18, 2013
Tunisia’s Islamists are the first to step aside voluntarily after being elected. But they are also more divided today than ever before. The challenges of being in government rather than trying to topple it have driven sharp new wedges into old cracks within the Ennahda Party.

Tunisia’s Islamists II: The Salafis

Dec 18, 2013
Salafis today influence Tunisian politics in multiple ways. While the number of militant Salafis remains modest, their activism influences the way in which Tunisians and outside observers think about the state of affairs in the country. Generally speaking, violence has not been a common political tool in Tunisia. But the steady escalation in Salafi militancy over the past two years undermines this reputation.

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