Argentina: Election Year to the Rhythm of the International Monetary Fund

2019 could prove a fateful year for Argentina. To receive further financial aid from the International Monetary Fund, the government has to enforce drastic and unpopular measures ahead of the October elections. President Mauricio Macri is walking on very thin ice. Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the second review of Argentina’s 3-year Stand […]

Nigeria: Election in Times of Terrorism

On 23 February, Nigerians will vote in presidential elections. Incumbent Muhammadu Buhari faces challenges similar to those of his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, who was voted out of office in 2015 because the people no longer believed he could end the war against Boko Haram. In another striking similarity to 2015, the electoral commission postponed elections […]

A Divided Continent

Africa is deeply polarized between political and economic extremes. Some of the clouds on the horizon may prove to have silver linings. The African Union has a key role to play in transforming the region into a continent of opportunity. At the 32nd Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on 10-11 February, […]

Dark Days for Democracy?

Democracy and the rule of law are suffering in many countries, with the rise of “illiberal” democracies or even outright dictatorships. Why is that? And what makes it a cause of serious concern for the global community? News-watchers are by now long-familiar with the narrative of the steady rise of populism in Western countries. What […]

Post-Conflict Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia: Hostility is still Looming

After the International Criminal Court in The Hague acquitted Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d’Ivoire, of crimes against humanity and war crimes, the fear of renewed violence is growing. Can the West African country as well as neighbouring Liberia still progress on the path towards a lasting peace? The roads to peace in Côte […]

Military Set to Retain Influence despite Thai Vote

This time round, Thailand’s elections, slated for February 2019, look like they will actually materialize. But can they rescue its troubled democracy? More than four years after the May 2014 coup, the Thai junta has set a new date for elections: February 2019. Although the military government has frequently postponed elections in the past, it […]

Peace on Earth? The quality of conflict management is in decline

No peaceful Christmas again this year. On the contrary: Not only are wars, civil wars and massive political violence widespread worldwide, but – as explained in the previous blog post – the level of polarization and the intensity of conflicts have, on global average, even increased in recent years. Which factors are driving the marked […]

Elections in Libya: The Difficult Way Ahead

The Libya conference in Palermo has ended in a renewed push for elections in the crisis-ridden country. But is Libya really in a fit state to deliver on this commitment? Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has had three distinct electoral experiences, which have in turn given birth to three political institutions: […]