Democracy Publications

Women, Muslim Laws and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Keynote Address

Jul 19, 2011
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration? more

Election Observation Missions: Making them Count

Jul 19, 2011
International election observation is a work in progress, much like the international democratic system it aims to promote and develop. Today election observation is disproportionately focused on the pre-election and election periods at the expense of the post-election period. International organizations, national governments, and civil society are familiar with what is expected both before and during an election. Election “practices” exist and an international set of principles is now emerging to guide international elections observers both before and during elections. more

The ANC and Post-Apartheid South Africa Quo Vadis: One Hundred Years Going on Twenty

Jul 15, 2011
The advent of democracy in 1994 came with the promise of a society whose race, political, economic and social relations would be the antithesis of what they had been under apartheid. The post-apartheid order would deliver what the ANC calls “a better life for all.” What has happened since the ANC came to power can best be summarized in three ways: First, there has been some improvement in the political, social and economic conditions of the majority. Second, democratic, policy and delivery deficits have emerged. more

A Challenge: The Arab Spring in North Africa and its Ramification on the Continent

Jul 12, 2011
After the demise of the Soviet Bloc and the democratic transitions of Eastern Europe which witnessed very dramatic changes in internal and external polices of those countries, many thought that this would be the model for the Arab world to emulate. However, it was generally thought that it would be a decade before the Arab world was ready for such a transition. Accelerating the pace of democratization it was believed, would pave the way for extremist religious parties to assume power, leading to a radical shift in the foreign policy orientation of key Arab states. more

Making Peace After Genocide

Jul 12, 2011
It is a small country, no larger than the state of Maryland, with a population numbering just over 8 million. The dimensions of the human tragedy that has played itself out in Burundi since the country’s independence in 1960, however, are anything but diminutive: an estimated 400,000 killed, some 800,000 forced to flee the country, and many tens of thousands internally displaced. The human catastrophe that is Burundi is dwarfed in Africa only by its neighbor, Rwanda, which in 1994 saw close to 1 million of its population systematically murdered. This report examines the efforts that regional states and other international actors undertook to end the Burundian cycle of violence. more

Pilfering the Peace: The Nexus Between Corruption and Peacebuilding

Jul 12, 2011
How might the best practices of peacebuilding be applied to anti-corruption? Based on interviews with trainers and staff of the Burundi Leadership Training Programme (BLTP) of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, this article explores possible answers to that question in light of a successful peacebuilding effort. The author also flags ideas for future projects and research at the nexus of the two fields.  more

Central America Trip Report

Security and Trade in Central America

Jul 07, 2011
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars sponsored a congressional study trip to El Salvador and Guatemala from April 13 through April 18, 2009. It was organized by the Wilson Center on the Hill Program and the Latin American Program at the Wilson Center. The trip focused on two issues that are critical for the United States’ relationships with countries across Central America – security and economic development. more

Repensando la Argentina: Antes de diciembre de 2001 y más allá de mayo de 2003

Jul 07, 2011
On April 3, 2003, meeting participants discussed economic policies, Argentina's position in world affairs, Argentine democracy and political parties, culture, education, human rights and civil society. The open discussion led to this publication. more

306. The End of Postcommunism

Jul 07, 2011
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism. more

152. The 1997 Parliamentary Elections In Poland: How Much DÉJA VU?

Jul 07, 2011
February 1997 - Observers of Polish Politics may feel a strong sense of déja vu. Like the historic election of 1989 which precipitated the collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe, Solidarity emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections of September 1997, a showdown between the former Communists and the Electoral Action Solidarity (AWS). The AWS, a coalition of the trade union "Solidarity" and several minor parties, won decidedly, with 33.8% of the votes and 201 of the 460 seats in the Sejm. The post-Communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) finished second with 27.1% of the votes and 164 seats. A distant third was the Freedom Union (UW) party, dominated by the former Solidarity intellectual elite, with 13.4% of the votes and 60 seats. It was followed by the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), the 1993-97 coalition partner of the SLD (7.3% and 27 seats), and the Movement for the Rebirth of Poland, another party with Solidarity roots (5.6% and 6 seats). The remaining two seats were won by the Silesian Germans, exempt from the 5% threshold as a national minority. Among those who didn't clear the threshold was the leftist Labor Union (UP) with 4.7%. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.