Articles on Democracy Futures: New Despotisms

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Protestants hold a Sunday service in the open air in Jakarta. Their efforts to erect their own church buildings have been blocked by hardline Muslim groups. Cherian George

The curious power of hate propaganda in open societies

Truth’s victory over hate propaganda is neither automatic nor preordained. It requires a commitment to equal rights and norms of tolerance.
Do outdated fantasies of anarchism simply play into the agendas of the rich and privileged? Nuit debout in Paris, 2016. Nicolas Vigier/flickr

Whither anarchy: the fantasy of natural law

Today’s anarchists should give up the fantasy of 'abolishing the state'. That simply plays into the agenda of the rich and privileged.
‘Ownness’ is a form of freedom that profanes institutions and acts as though power no longer exists. The Berlin Wall, November 1989. Reuters

Whither anarchy: ownness as a form of freedom

Between institutional collapse and false promises of utopia, people seek to define their own lives and their relations with others by thinking and acting as though power no longer existed.
Anarchism’s opposition to arbitrary power is often militant, but liberty is no simple thing. Transmetropolitan Review

Whither anarchy: perspectives on anarchism and liberty

Liberty is a political matter bound up with institutionalised struggles for equality among individuals, groups, networks and organisations. This is where the cult of the free individual falls down.
Anarchists once took constitutionalism very seriously and might well do so again to develop radical decision-making practices. Kim Davis/flickr

Whither anarchy: freedom as non-domination

If anarchists reject private property and the state, they need to devise alternative, radical practices of power-sharing. Republican constitutionalism offers one way to think about this.
Donald Trump’s boastful and bullying leadership style encapsulates many of the worst features and sentiments of today’s world. Darron Bergenheier/flick

Humility’s value for democracy in dark times

In a world out of balance, one in which arrogance and unaccountability combine in a corrosive synergy, humility can offer a powerful alternative vision of how to approach democratic government.
The political crisis surrounding the 2012 ousting of Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed led to a return to authoritarian rule. Dying Regime/flickr

Does Islam have a problem with democracy? The case of the Maldives

Democracy did not fail in the Maldives because it clashed with Islam. Instead, a privileged and powerful elite helped topple the elected government, and nations that advocate democratic ideals did little to stop them.
Riot police prepare to move in on a protest against terrorism and espionage charges laid against two journalists who reported on Turkish weapon deliveries to Syria. EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

Turkey’s democracy leaves little room for democrats

Firmly back in control after winning snap elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP government are reducing democratic process to a rubber stamp for their undemocratic project.
Will the global community definitively stigmatise Russia as an international pariah until it renounces the use of force to challenge a UN member’s territorial integrity? EPA/Alexey Nikolsky

What can Australia and the global community do about Russia?

The international community has been impotent since Russia responded to the November 2013 Ukraine crisis with force, culminating in annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea this month. The G7’s…
Tunisia has its dangers, but it should be safe from financial collapse. archer10

How banks can help the move from dictatorship to democracy

Tunisia has been hailed as a lone success story among the Arab Spring nations. A relatively peaceful transition with a recent agreement on a new constitution has enabled the country to avoid the bloodshed…

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