The root causes of the threats to much of Asia’s biological diversity, particularly in the region’s more unstable and authoritarian countries, can be generalized in three words: conversion, consumption and corruption.
October 2002- In parliamentary elections held on September 20-21, 2002, Slovak voters showed a clear preference for pro-Western and reform-oriented parties, while turning away from populists aimed at protecting "national" interests and potentially returning the country to international isolation. The elections produced the most homogenous government in Slovakia's short history, and the country's future – at least for the next four years – now appears rather predictable, even boring. Following an awkward introduction to the world, the elections signify that Slovakia may finally be growing up.
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%.
The Milosevic regime was a classic example of what has been called a “democradura,” i.e., a system which combined some of the mechanisms of democracy (with the result that Milosevic’s Socialists were, at one point, forced to enter into a coalition with Seselj’s Radicals, in order to form a government) with many overtly authoritarian features (among which one might mention the constriction of press freedom, the use of the police against the political opposition, and systematic violations of human rights). If, as the author has argued elsewhere, political legitimacy hinges on the observance of routinized, legal, and accepted procedures for political succession, then much depends on the origins of the given regime. Accordingly, to understand the nature of the Milosevic regime and the roots of its crisis, one must return to its origins in 1987.
This volume offers several of the presentations from a May 2000 this conference which address political and social transition in Mexico, new directions in economic policy, and the changing nature of U.S.-Mexico relations.
In June 1994, five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically ended the Communist hold on Eastern Europe, only a quarter of the eligible voters turned out for the local elections in Poland. Elections in Hungary and the Czech Republic and referenda in Lithuania have been plagued by similarly low turnouts. Even in countries where voter turnout was high in the first post-Communist elections, the number of people who say they intend to cast ballots in upcoming elections has dropped, an indication of declining turnout. This paper examines civil society, the participatory culture, and public legitimation in the region, as well as democratization policies.
This publication contains papers from the two years of a competition which gave grants to PhDs to write papers on democracy. Chapters in this book shift the focus of studies on institutions to questions of efficiency and accountability, examine how democracy functions at subnational levels, and explore how concerns over gender and race affect our understanding of democratic governance.
When we manage resources sustainably and practice good governance, we promote cultures of peace, says Wangari Maathai.
June 2004 - As eight post-communist countries entered the EU last May, Romania was among the few applicant countries that did not manage to implement the accession criteria. Like the other applicant countries, Romania has been aggressively lobbying to enter Western institutions and it has been successful in arguing for its geostrategic importance in Europe, as is reflected by the fact that it was admitted to NATO last June. Yet, despite the strides it has taken and its commitment to recreating the western ideal at home, Romania is still far behind most of its neighbors in its transition from communism to liberal democracy. Here, I will attempt to address the major obstacles to Romania's progress and the country's prospects for stepping up the pace of reforms in the near future.