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Articles on Democracy

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The rally – fed by citizen-spread misinformation and disinformation – that turned into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

We are all propagandists now

America’s public sphere is broken because propaganda has replaced political communication. How did we all become propagandists?
Young men protesting the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse near the Petion-Ville police station in Port-au-Prince, July 8. (AP Photo/Joseph Odelyn)

After its president was assassinated, Haiti needs international help more than ever

The current chaos in Haiti can be explained by the country’s political, institutional, economic and security conditions.
Haitians seeking asylum. gather July 10, 2021, at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti after the president’s assassination plunged the country further into chaos, VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images

Who’s running Haiti after president’s assassination? 5 questions answered

President Moïse is dead. Two politicians say they’re in charge. Parliament is suspended. A Haitian studies scholar explains Haiti’s power vacuum and says elections alone won’t restore democracy there.
The founders believed education was crucial to democracy. Here, a one-room schoolhouse in Breathitt County, Ky. Photograph by Marion Post Wolcott/Library of Congress

America’s founders believed civic education and historical knowledge would prevent tyranny – and foster democracy

Democracies degenerate because of cunning leaders. Democracies also crumble because of the people themselves – and the US founders believed education would be crucial to maintaining democracy.
A crowd wait in a stadium in Jimma on June 16, 2021 for an electoral campaign rally of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images

Ethiopia’s elections are needed. But they face credibility challenges

In Ethiopia’s new and unsettled political space, there are issues related to the current electoral rules, the performance and strength of the opposition parties, and to campaigning.
Benjamin Netanyahu sits in the Knesset before parliament voted June 13, 2021, in Jerusalem to approve the new government that doesn’t include him, Amir Levy/Getty Images

It wasn’t just politics that led to Netanyahu’s ouster – it was fear of his demagoguery

Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t ousted just for typical political reasons, such as other politicians’ ambitions or grievances. He was thrown out because he was seen as a threat to democracy.
Instead of asking how universities might benefit from shifting courses online permanently, we ought to ask how students might suffer from fewer opportunities for lived experience and practice. (Shutterstock)

The problem with online learning? It doesn’t teach people to think

We ought to worry that the pandemic has made it even easier to reduce teaching to disseminating knowledge.
Taking a selfie during the #ENDSARS protest in Lagos in 2020. Social media was used extensively to mobilise demontrators. Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nigeria’s Twitter ban could backfire, hurting the economy and democracy

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Twitter shutdown will be hard to enforce and could have dire consequences for Nigeria’s fragile democratic institutions and economy.
Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele promised voters change. Instead, he seems to be reviving El Salvador’s authoritarian past. Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

El Salvador’s façade of democracy crumbles as president purges his political opponents

El Salvador ‘is inching back toward its authoritarian past’ after President Nayib Bukele fired five supreme court justices and the attorney general – essentially the only checks on his power.
Bills have a long journey that includes going through the parliamentarian’s office in the Senate. Here, a corridor in the Senate. dkfielding/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The obscure, unelected Senate official whose rulings can help – or kill – a bill’s chance to pass

The Senate has a lot of rules, and its parliamentarian interprets what those rules allow – and what they don’t. That can mean a bill will face either huge obstacles, or very few obstacles to passage.
Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, speaks to the press at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on May 12, 2021. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Representative Cheney calls for order

Rep. Liz Cheney may have been exiled from her party’s leadership, but she’s after a bigger thing: the restoration of politically conservative values in the GOP and its voters.

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