Articles on Democracy

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James Comey in 2017. AP Photo/Cliff Owen

What Greek tragedy illuminates about James Comey

Greek tragedies shed light into human nature's darker corners. They can also illuminate the character of former FBI chief James Comey, whose unbending adherence to principles evokes ancient themes.
Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro are both classic Latin American strongmen. But that’s where the similarities end. David Mercado/Reuters

Bolivia is not Venezuela – even if its president does want to stay in power forever

Bolivia's populist leader has been in office for 12 years. He's a thorn in the US's side and an ally of the late Hugo Chávez. Now he's running for a fourth term. But that doesn't make him a dictator.
Multiple court sanctions against the powerful Pakistani politician Nawaz Sharif have spurred protests both for and against the ousted prime minister. Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

Pakistan’s activist Supreme Court endangers a fragile democracy

It's election season in Pakistan, and the Supreme Court is at war with the ruling party. Many Pakistanis wonder whether the nation's top judge is cleaning up government or staging a judicial coup.
Protestors stand behind burning barricades during clashes with riot police near the Tunisian capital of Tunis in January 2018. Violent protests over price hikes raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

The dismal failure of efforts to empower people in the Arab world

Decentralization in the Middle East and North Africa is supposed to lead to greater public representation in municipal politics. In fact, it is largely strengthening authoritarianism.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Malaysia’s dire democratic crisis

Malaysia’s audacious use of dirty politics and pre-electoral rigging to tilt the level playing field in its upcoming general elections is contributing to a global democratic crisis.
Thousands of high school students across the US walked out of their schools to protest gun violence and to call for changes to gun laws. EPA/Tannen Maury

How lowering the voting age to 16 could save democracy

Lowering the voting age to 16 would bring the age of political responsibility more in line with the age of criminal responsibility and the age of informed consent for medical procedures.
Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Preventing social media from interfering in Canadian elections

Several critical Canadian elections are ahead. Here's what governments and social media companies must do to assure Canadians that their online personal data won't be used to manipulate results.
Hundreds of students protesting gun violence marched to the Minnesota State Capitol on March 7, 2018. Jim Mone/AP

Teaching students how to dissent is part of democracy

As part of preparing students to live in a democracy, schools should teach students how to engage in political dissent, a philosophy of education scholar argues.
Australia’s Prime Minister and Minister for Jobs and Innovation meet with scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Michael Chambers/AAP

Servant or partner? The role of expertise and knowledge in democracy

Plato suggested we leave complex things to experts and Aristotle suggested we leave them to the people. That tension has carried through to modern debates about where expertise belongs.

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