The Albatross around the ANC’s Neck

Last summer, President Jacob Zuma was celebrating his narrow success of surviving another no-confidence vote. But while the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference is approaching, many within the governing party are beginning to count the cost of a leader who lacks the public’s trust. In December 2007, delegates at the National Elective Conference of South Africa’s ruling African […]

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency: Normalizing Nationalism?

Some of the Bulgarian politicians who will preside over European meetings in Brussels in the first half of 2018 are nationalists. Is the EU to be blamed for letting them play a role on the European stage? Will the Bulgarian liberal-conservative majority be able to tame its patriotic coalition partner? After many years of economic […]

Time to Listen to Severely Threatened Islands

For the first time, a paradise in danger will host the UN climate talks. Can Fiji’s presidency bring about the desperately needed global partnerships for island nations? 03.11.2017 | by ALISON SINGER The 23rd UN Climate Change Conference will take place November 6 to 17, in Bonn, Germany. The government of Fiji with its Prime […]

Why Optimism is Fading in Pakistan

70 years after independence, Pakistan is caught in political chaos, and it seems as if the reasons to be optimist about the country’s democratic future got fewer. Next years’ elections could turn out to be a crossroads in its history. In a historic yet controversial decision in July 2017, Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified former PM […]

Georgia: Backsliding on Justice?

On 10 June 2017, thousands of Georgians protested on the streets of Tbilisi in support of two young rappers, members of the group Birja Mafia, who were arrested on drugs charges that they say were trumped up. The protests marked another step in Georgians’ decline in trust for their law enforcement system. Former President Mikheil […]

For a Comprehensive and Credible Governance Measurement in the SDGs

What is the significance of good governance in national reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? And are the UN member states prepared to use independent governance indicators in their reports? Representatives of governments, civil society and the private sector discussed this issue in Oslo in September 2017 at the invitation of the UNDP. The current […]

“Islamic Values Are Compatible with Democratic Values”

BTI Blog spoke with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of the Republic of Indonesia during the “golden decade” from 2004 to 2014, about the lessons from his military reform, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and the appeal of democracy among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). BTI Blog: Your Excellency, President Yudhoyono, […]

“I Enjoy Sitting down with Common People”

BTI Blog spoke with José Ramos-Horta, former president of Timor-Leste and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, about the state of democracy in the country, socioeconomic challenges for the new government, and the role of the international community in post-conflict societies. BTI Blog: Timor-Leste has elected a new parliament on July 22nd, for the […]

Revitalizing Democracy in Asia

How can reform-oriented political leaders utilize the rapid social change in Asia and Oceania for their democratic agenda? This question was at the core of a roundtable on “Next Generation Democracy” in Díli, Timor-Leste. As developing Asia struggles with consolidating their fragile democratic achievements, Timor-Leste is already reckoned by some as democracy’s new poster child […]