Articles on Democracy

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Worldwide, 1 in 10 presidents and prime ministers has relatives who were already in politics. Europe and Latin America, both democratic regions, have the highest proportion of leaders who come from political families. Shutterstock

Dynasties still run the world

To reach the highest rungs of power, a new study shows, it really helps if your dad was president.
A French-speaking Canadian volunteer in Haiti part of the volunteer group EDV that helped recovery efforts after the earthquake in early June 2010. Emma Taylor/Wikimedia

How Francophone scholarship deepened our understanding of democracy and social change

Scholars such as Alfred Sauvy, Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan and Frantz Fanon wrote in French, but their work greatly contributed to our understanding of democracy and social change in all contexts.
A Syrian refugee child sits on the window of his family’s trailer home painted by refugee artists in a camp near Mafraq, Jordan. AP/Raad Adayleh

5 ways the Syrian revolution continues

The revolution begun by Syrians exactly eight years ago has been won – by the murderous leader they rebelled against. But the struggle for freedom, dignity and justice Syrians launched is not over.
The Algerian population has taken to the streets in a peaceful and nonviolent manner to protest against President Bouteflika’s running for a fifth term of office. Ryad Kramdi/AFP

Protesters in Algeria use nonviolence to seek real political change

Demonstrations against Abdelaziz Bouteflika have opened up a rare space for debate and self-expression – and could signal a change to a more free and involved civil society in Algeria.
A rally celebrating the second anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, March 18, 2016. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

Autocracies that look like democracies are a threat across the globe

Almost one-third of countries around the world are authoritarian regimes with the trappings of democracy. Their bad behavior poses a threat to real democracies, as the United States recently learned.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro created a new cryptocurrency called the ‘Petro’ to combat hyperinflation. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Is authoritarianism bad for the economy? Ask Venezuela – or Hungary or Turkey

When an elected leader turns autocratic, the economy tends to suffer. That's because, in a functioning democracy, economic policy is made jointly, with lawmakers playing a key role.
Mauro still has enough money to buy the loyalty of Venezuela’s military — but his government is going bankrupt, so that will change. Reuters/Handout

Odds of military coup in Venezuela rise every day Maduro stays in office

A coup seems so imminent in Venezuela that people are debating whether Maduro's overthrow would be good or bad for Venezuelan democracy. But history suggests a coup may be less likely than it seems.
Australia’s unspoken antipathy to experience is not new, but contrasts sharply with the attitude found in other countries such as the US. Wes Mountain/The Conversation

How Australia’s political ageism may be robbing us of our best leaders

A corrosive ageism in Australian politics overvalues the new, while discounting experience. If the US and UK can see the value in older politicians, why can't we?

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