Democracy Publications

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. 

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.
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.

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.

Half a Chance: Youth Bulges and Transitions to Liberal Democracy

Jul 07, 2011
Using age-structure data, Richard Cincotta assesses the fragility of existing liberal democracies and forecasts when new ones will emerge.

209. An Analysis of the Yugoslav Elections and Its Implications

Jul 07, 2011
October 2000 - In their discussion, Robert Hayden and Eric Gordy identified the main reasons for the opposition's electoral victory in the September 24 presidential elections and elaborated on potential challenges facing the new regime once in power. Several factors contributed to the opposition party's victory. Hayden and Gordy cited the: the decreasing amount of support for Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) party as well as a crisis of orientation within the party; the ongoing repression and open violence which exposed a sign of desperation within the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS); the influence of the student resistance movement OTPOR; and, the uncertainty of support for Milosevic by the military and the police. In addition, several potential divisions and defections within Milosevic's coalition further threaten to weaken the ruling regime's hold on power.

Environment in the U.S. Security Debate: The Case of the Missing Arctic Waters

Jul 07, 2011
This essay asks whether and if so how the United States might employ new understandings of security in the management of Arctic waters issues, and in responding even more particularly to the prospect of intensified use of Russia’s Northern Sea Route.

149. Why Some Succeed and Others Fail: Eight Years of Transition In Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
January 1998 - The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult.

65. Violence Against Women in Post-communist Societies: Benefits and Changes

Jul 07, 2011
This paper will present the findings of the author's research entitled “Violence against women and social changes in post-communist societies,” conducted during 1999 in Hungary, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia. The author focuses her analysis on findings regarding both the negative and positive impact of changes on women’s vulnerability to and protection from domestic violence. The paper is based on both quantitative and qualitative analysis of interviews with 86 people (58 women and 28 men), 45 professionals and women’s groups activists, documentation of victim support organizations, and media and research reports from the above mentioned countries.