Economics and Globalization Publications
316. Where Have All the Illiberal Democracies Gone? Privatization as a Catalyst to Regime Change in Postcommunist EuropeJul 07, 2011
May 2005 - Scholars of postcommunist change are beginning to take analytical note of a recent wave of regime liberalizations. What do we make of it? As scholars, we have misdiagnosed the trend. While we have rightly focused on the collapse of moderately authoritarian regimes in the face of mass resistance movements, we must begin to do more comparative analysis that includes illiberal countries that have become more authoritarian during the same period. Behind the headlines about liberal oppositions facing down corrupt, illiberal incumbents, the analytically salient pattern might be the instability of illiberal democracies and their movement in either a more democratic or authoritarian direction.
The New Security Beat, ECSP’s blog, was launched in January 2007 to shed light on some of today’s broader security issues, including water scarcity, environmental degradation, and population growth. The posts below are selected highlights from the first year.
This article presents the key insights that emerged from a regional research project that explored environment and security links in the context of South Asia.
May 1997 - The successor states to the former Yugoslavia may be unanimous in their opposition to any political project even hinting at its recreation, but they still face a set of surprisingly common economic problems. (On the emergence of the successor states from the collapse of Yugoslavia, see Yugoslavia and After: A Study in Fragmentation, Despair, and Rebirth, edited by David A. Dyker and Ivan Vojvoda [New York: Longman, 1996].) For one, there is the obvious absence of the economic boom that a postwar recovery period often generates. As a partial solution, business enterprises are turning back toward their nearest neighbors, their former compatriots. Even this movement faces two further problems. First, their transitions to a market economy based on private enterprise are in the best case half-finished and have in the worst cases created new vested interests grounded in political power and corruption. Second, while private entrepreneurship has indeed grown apace, its enterprises are typically too small or too closely linked to political or outright criminal networks to press effectively, from below, for a legal market framework.
This Brookings Institution volume, edited by Lael Brainard, joins the growing chorus of criticism of foreign assistance reform in offering a clear set of first steps.
Special Reports: Environment and Security in an International Context: Executive Summary Report, by the NATO/Committee on The Challenges of Modern Society Pilot Study; and State Failure Task Force Report: Phase II Findings.
The 2002 issue of the Environmental Change and Security Program Report features 19 commentaries by experts worldwide on the most important issues for the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development and beyond. Complete report.
These two papers provide some theoretical underpinnings for an alternative--evolutionary--approach to economic reform in Eastern Europe. Such an approach places little emphasis on reforming old organizations, but instead pins its hopes on the growth of a nascent private sector. An evolutionary policy, therefore, combines a policy of the gradual phasing out of the old institutional framework, an active program to promote new private sector activity and the institutions that this sector requires, and gradual privatization using market processes. The papers analyze both the evolution of centrally planned economies in the region as well as the impact of conservatism.
ECSP Report 12 analyzes conflicts over natural resources, which are increasingly depleted by population growth, environmental degradation, poverty, and over-consumption. Complete report.
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.