Articles on Democracy

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The political troubles of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe comes with lessons for his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lessons for South Africa’s Jacob Zuma in Robert Mugabe’s misfortunes

The unfolding misfortunes of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe hold key lessons for his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma who faces the possibility of a forced exit.
Joshua Wong (left), Alex Chow (centre) and Nathan Law (right) speak to the press outside the Court of Final Appeal after the first hearing in their bid to appeal their jail sentences in Hong Kong on November 7, 2017. ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP

How Hong Kong Umbrella movement was crushed and pro-democracy activists gradually silenced

In Hong Kong, challenges for the new generation of activists are not how to mobilise mass protests, but how to wrestle with the state’s innovative strategy to manage society.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has been plagued by corruption and scandal, and many voters have finally had enough. Edgard Garrido/Reuters

As angry voters reject major parties, Mexico’s 2018 presidential race grows chaotic

Mexico's 2018 presidential race hasn't even begun, but it's already a nail-biter, featuring two women, a left-wing firebrand, party defections, strange bedfellows and no small dose of scandal.
A statue of Pericles outside Athens City Hall. Like Trump, Pericles used war to deflect from bad news. (Shutterstock)

‘DO SOMETHING!’ Trump, Pericles and the art of deflection

Does ancient Greek war hawk Pericles provide clues to a besieged Donald Trump's next move? War has always been a helpful distraction for cornered world leaders.
After executing a stunning break with his left-wing predecessor, Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno, has been ousted from his party. Reuters/Henry Romero

After months of feuding, Ecuador’s president is ousted by his party

Ecuador's new president, Lenin Moreno, has been disavowed by the party that brought him to power after disputing with his left-wing predecessor.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for photographers before a meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in April in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Democracy without dignity: A Confucian critique of Trump

The contrast between the U.S. and China could not be clearer in recent weeks: China enjoys dignity without democracy; the United States has democracy without dignity. Yet there are many similarities.
A man protesting against the government’s new power to ban organisations deemed anti-Pancasila, Indonesia’s state ideology. Reuters/Beawiharta

Indonesia takes an ultra-nationalist turn against Islamic populism

A recently passed regulation in lieu of law allows the government to ban organisations deemed against Indonesia's state ideology Pancasila. It marks a troubling turn towards ultra-nationalism.
Muslims attend a Defend Islam Action rally in Jakarta. The rallies show how political Islam utilises democracy to pursue a conservative religious agenda. Shutterstock

Political Islam navigates and changes Indonesia’s democratic landscape

Political Islam utilises Indonesia's democracy to pursue its ideals, changing the democratic landscape. Attempts to exclude the movement from democracy are counterproductive. What to do?
‘I’m not inviting you to abort, I’m inviting you to decide.’ Can democracy exist if women aren’t recognized as people with full human rights? Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters

In Latin America, is there a link between abortion rights and democracy?

Seventy-five percent of all abortions in Latin America are illicit. In Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, where abortion is totally illegal, the bans correlate with a generalized failure of the rule of law.
For some, Spain’s crackdown on the Catalonian independence vote has raised the specter of the country’s authoritarian past. Reuters/Susana Vera

Catalonia’s referendum unmasks authoritarianism in Spain

Why did the Spanish state forcefully quash Catalonia’s referendum for independence? It is rooted in the country’s nearly 40-year dictatorship and its transition to democracy.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-leader Alice Weidel campaigns in front of a banner that reads: ‘Crime by immigration: a flood of refugees leaves its mark!’ Axel Schmidt/Reuters

The pathologies of populism

Current events show that the old problem of populism is making a comeback, and that populism is indeed an autoimmune disease of our age of monitory democracy.

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