Democratic Transition | Wilson Center

Democratic Transition

Soft Power and Its Perils: U.S. Cultural Policy in Early Postwar Japan and Permanent Dependency

This book examines the cultural aspects of U.S.-Japan relations during the postwar Occupation and the early years of the Cold War and analyzes their effect on the adoption of democratic values by the Japanese. Takeshi Matsuda finds that the results were mixed: Japan is an electoral democracy but intellectually remains elitist and submissive—in part because of U.S. efforts to reinforce the domestic importance of intellectual elites. The author is especially concerned with the development of American Studies in Japan, and U.S. efforts to foster it.

Anatoli Mikhailov is named the 2007 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee

The Ion Ratiu Lecture is pleased to announce that the 2007 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture and Award is Professor Anatoli Mikhailov. Professor Mikhailov is one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus.

The Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center

2007 IRDL recipient announced: Anatoli Mikhailov, Belarus

The Ion Ratiu Lecture is pleased to announce that the 2007 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture and Award is Professor Anatoli Mikhailov. Professor Mikhailov is one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus.


To RSVP for the Lecture - "Democracy as a Challenge" Nov 15, 4:00pm, please CLICK HERE

Toward a Society under Law: Citizens and Their Police in Latin America

Crime continues to undermine the rule of law and democracy in Latin America. The incidence and severity of crime reduce the community’s trust in police and in government, and many attempts to address the crime problem have stalled. Directly empowering citizens has, however, been a promising avenue for change. Toward a Society under Law focuses on community policing and on police reform.

Rebounding Identities: The Politics of Identity in Russia and Ukraine

An examination of post-Soviet society through ethnic, religious, and linguistic criteria, this volume turns what is typically anthropological subject matter into the basis of politics, sociology, and history. Ten chapters cover such diverse subjects as Ukrainian language revival, Tatar language revival, nationalist separatism and assimilation in Russia, religious pluralism in Russia and in Ukraine, mobilization against Chinese immigration, and even the politics of mapmaking.

Final Acts: A Guide to Preserving the Records of Truth Commissions

Twenty truth commissions have completed their work of examining and reporting on the abuses of deposed regimes, leaving behind a wide variety of records: transcripts, video and audio recordings, e-mail and computer files, and artifacts. Why save such evidence? According to Trudy H. Peterson, preservation “completes the commission’s work. Oppressive regimes try to impose a selective amnesia on society … Saving the records makes sure that amnesia does not prevail.”

Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy

Beyond Free and Fair Elections: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy draws on worldwide experience since the mid-1980s to evaluate international election monitoring and domestic monitoring, and their contributions to democracy promotion and democratic change. In this book, Eric Bjornlund provides an overview of what election monitoring is, where it comes from, and how it is currently conducted, and he educes general lessons for democracy promotion.

Russia in Search of Itself

In the turbulent decade since the collapse of the Soviet Union, conditions have worsened considerably for many Russians, and a wide-ranging debate has raged over the nature and destiny of their country. In Russia in Search of Itself, James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress and a noted expert on Russia, examines the efforts of a proud but troubled nation to find a post-Soviet identity. The agenda has not been controlled from the top-down and center-out as in Russia’s past. Nor has it been set by any intellectual giant such as Sakharov or Solzhenitsyn.

Decentralization, Democratic Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective: Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Decentralization, Democratic Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective studies the relation of decentralization to democratization at both intermediate and local levels and analyzes how decentralization is transforming the relationship between the state and civil society. This book presents case studies from six countries in three continents in which decentralization of some parts of government has been attempted: Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Post-Soviet Women Encountering Transition: Nation-Building, Economic Survival, and Civic Activism

Women in the former Soviet Union, despite a legacy of high levels of education and labor force participation, face a host of new problems, according to editors Kathleen Kuehnast and Carol Nechemias. Neo-familialist ideologies have arisen, with a longing for the return of traditional families. A gendered division of labor in the market economy has pushed women to the bottom of the pyramid of small businesses as bazaar merchants. And in the political arena, men dominate formal government structures and political parties, while women dominate the realm of non-governmental organizations.

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