Category: Civil Society

Democracy doomsayers question causes of backsliding

     

Are the causes of democratic erosion the same in the advanced liberal democracies as seen in Venezuela, Hungary, Turkey, Spain before the Spanish Civil War, and Germany and Italy before… Read more »

China’s surveillance state spreads from Uyghurs to Central Asia

     

China’s advanced surveillance regime is taking root along the length of the Belt and Road—especially the Belt, the overland Eurasian routes that were the origin of the government’s ambitious investment… Read more »

Hong Kong protests: Is Beijing ready to step in?

     

As tension rises between Hong Kong’s police and student activists barricaded inside university campuses, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated mainland support for Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, saying… Read more »

Turkey’s ‘soft dictatorship’: How to combat Erdogan’s illiberal populism

     

Istanbul’s new mayor says his election victory against Turkey‘s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party carries an important lesson for the world’s populist leaders: Act against the will of the people… Read more »

‘Underestimating democracy’ invites demagoguery, says Walesa

     

Authoritarians are resurgent because of the failure to create a new global system of democratic values, said former Solidarnosc leader and Polish president Lech Walesa. “Polish democracy in practical terms… Read more »

Upholding democratic values needs strong norms & operational principles

     

The cluster of organizations around the National Endowment for Democracy has evolved into “a huge apparatus” with its strong norms and operational principles, one expert observes, at a time when… Read more »

Ideological ‘grievance state’: Five Faces of Russia’s Soft Power

     

Russia’s human rights situation is getting worse with each passing year, says Tatanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch. The regime routinely “messes up” because it has destroyed almost all feedback… Read more »

Despotic Data: Autocrats winning online fight of open vs. closed societies?

     

A critical differentiator between traditional media and social media is how ‘targetcasting‘ is available only to a specific audience. Such secret targeting tears at the fabric of democracy, says Tom Wheeler, a… Read more »

Arab democrats need ‘realistic pathways for change’

     

As a fresh wave of protests generates speculation about an Arab Spring 2.0, the challenge for MENA democrats is to move beyond calls for regime change and focus on building… Read more »

Baltic Road to Freedom: Rhetoric vs. realpolitik

     

As Soviet communism following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the experience of Baltic “freedom fighters” like Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania and Lennart Meri of Estonia demonstrated the  “almost unbridgeable… Read more »