Articles on Democracy

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More than 250,000 people took to the streets in a 2016 protest organised by hardline Muslim groups against Jakarta’s Christian mayor. Lauren Farrow/AAP

Is Indonesia retreating from democracy?

Indonesia has long been held up as a model of democratic transition in the Muslim world. This view of the country now needs rethinking.
The Wedding Feast at Cana, Paolo Veronese, 1563. Wikimedia

Is religion bad for democracy?

Our work on the International Panel for Social Progress has led us to conclude that religion is neither inherently pro-democracy nor inherently anti-democracy.
A man reads a newspaper the day after the presidential and parliamentary elections in Istanbul, June 25, 2018. Aris Messinis/AFP

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the political giant with a cane

The Turkish election highlights the growing strength of Turkish opposition despite the defeat and approves of a president who could be weaker than he would like to appear.
Police use water cannons against a demonstrator, Nantes, western France, on September 15, 2016. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

‘When the revolution becomes the State it becomes my enemy again’: an interview with James C. Scott

In an exclusive interview, Professor James Scott discusses anarchism and State resistance by so-called “powerless” actors. Excerpts for The Conversation France.
Colombia ended its 52-year conflict with the FARC guerrillas in late 2016. The next president must decide whether to uphold the deal. AP Photo/Ivan Valencia

Colombia’s presidential runoff will be a yet another referendum on peace

Two candidates from Colombia's May 27 presidential vote will face off on June 17. One is a former guerrilla. The other is a hard-liner. Their views for the nation's future couldn't be more different.
Populists like Donald Trump have used Twitter to his enormous political advantage. But the popular social media platform is failing to bring to heel the bots and fake accounts that can and have interfered with democracy. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Twitter’s struggle to thwart threats to democracy

Bots and fake accounts on Twitter helped sway the U.S. presidential election in 2016. Here's how the social media platform has purportedly tried, and failed, to combat threats to democracy.
Fewer than 20 countries worldwide have recognized the re-election of Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela’s president. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuela is now a dictatorship

Maduro's landslide May 20 re-election marks the official death of democracy in Venezuela. Dozens of nations worldwide have declared the vote illegitimate, and the US imposed new sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a Cabinet meeting in Moscow’s Kremlin. AP/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik

Russia, Putin lead the way in exploiting democracy’s lost promise

Vladimir Putin's recent re-election was bad news for democracy in Russia. And it's a major loss in the struggle for liberalism, as anti-democratic leaders are assuming power across the globe.

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