Democratic Transition | Wilson Center

Democratic Transition

Tension in the Taiwan Strait: Tsai Ing-Wen's Inaugural Address and Beijing's Response

Dr. Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated as President of Taiwan on May 20, 2016. Beijing has made clear that if she does not embrace the One China principle and invoke the 1992 Consensus as the basis of Cross-Strait relations in her inaugural speech, Mainland-Taiwan relations cannot continue on the constructive path they have followed over the past eight years. Speaking the words Beijing wishes to hear, however, would likely alienate supporters of Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party and might violate some of her own core beliefs.

Parliamentary Politics and Change in Burma

Back in January 2011, the convening of a new parliament evoked little enthusiasm in the junta-run nation of Burma. Five years later, however, the legislature has arguably become one of the centers of Burma’s post-junta public life. Additionally, the resounding victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in the 2015 elections has rekindled hopes for major democratic transformations. However, Burma’s constitution remains heavily weighted toward the executive branch and provides the Burmese armed forces with key prerogatives.

Brazilian Congress Votes to Impeach President

Now that the Brazilian Congress has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, we asked Brazil institute Director Paulo Sotero to provide historic and political context and to describe implications and likely reactions.

Myanmar Elects First Civilian President in Decades

Myanmar’s election of Htin Kyaw marks the first time in decades that a civilian will serve as the country's president. The election of her close confidant is another political victory for Aung San Suu Kyi, who many believe will be the true power behind the throne. We spoke to Wilson Center Fellow Renaud Egreteau to gain more insight into this historic moment in the country’s electoral history. That discussion provides the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Reforming Ukraine: A Progress Report with Dmytro Shymkiv

Ukraine’s government and civil society are in the midst of an ambitious reform effort. The country's lead reformer, Dmytro Shymkiv, provides a progress report in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


Five Years In: The Legacy of the Arab Spring

Panel One: The Makeup of Post-Arab Spring Politics

Four experts offered their analysis on the effects of the Arab Spring on political and governance issues in the Middle East and assessed the lasting impacts on the region’s political fabric.

Stand Up for Georgia

With a new prime minister in former foreign and economics minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia has an opportunity to reinvigorate its democracy and economy. But two main challenges lie ahead for him: organizing free and fair parliamentary elections next October while reviving the fortunes of his Georgian Dream coalition, and stimulating the economy and foreign investment. Wedged in a troubled region, Georgia stands out as an emerging democracy. Although Middle East and Russia-Ukraine crises loom large, Western leaders cannot forget Georgia.

Recapping Myanmar’s Historic Election

It took some time to complete the final tabulation, with election workers carrying ballots by foot from some mountainous areas and then loading them into helicopters. But for the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, it was worth the wait. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won 887 seats, or 77.1%, providing Suu Kyi with a majority in both houses of parliament. Asia Program Fellow Renaud Egreteau helps us recap the results and also speaks about the implications for Myanmar’s democracy moving forward. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.