Anti-government protests in Kiev, December 2013 © Maksymenko.com.ua via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Democracy in Limbo

While in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine commitment to European integration and political will to reform seem to have fostered democratization, prospects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus remain gloomy. As we enter 2015 it is worth taking another look at the political developments in the EU’s neighbourhood. A glance shows us that democracy progress in the […]

Women in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka © Brett Davies (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What is Holding Women Back in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has fared well in recent years by promoting health and education opportunities for women. Yet the country still fails to translate these achievements into female economic participation. The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of India. Today, five years after the end of an almost […]

© alphaspirit/veer

Innovative Enterprise and Dynamic Democracy

Latin America’s startup scene is vibrant and growing, yet regional differences are plentiful. Jamie Stark looks at social and political factors driving innovative businesses in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil – and asks, Is democracy a startup essential? What does it take to make a strong business culture? Political stability, investment capital, highly educated employees […]

Seoul, South Korea's capital city © Clint Sharp via Flick (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Success beyond Gangnam Style

With a strong state, powerful industries and high innovation spending South Korea provides a model for managing globalization. Yet Korea also shows some of the dangers of national oligarchy and over-centralization. South Korea today faces economic and political headwinds as strong as any country in Asia, with faltering domestic consumption and struggling exports in the face of slowing […]

© m a c s f via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Tyranny of the Establishment

Asia’s growing middle-income population flexes its political muscle. Yet, reactionaries among them stand in the way of democratization, as recent developments in Thailand and Indonesia have shown. If forecasts are anything to go by, Asia will account for two thirds of the global middle class population in 2030. Whereas investors and businesses already did the math and […]

Chioma Agwuegbo © private

“At This Time, There is No Alternative to Goodluck Jonathan”

Nigerian journalist and social media expert Chioma Agwuegbo talks about who might become Nigeria’s next president and the role of social media and young people in the upcoming elections. BTI Blog: Chioma Agwuegbo, Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), recently endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as sole candidate for the presidential elections next February. How […]

Vladimir Putin and the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, December 2013 © The Presidential Press and Information Office

An Offer Yerevan Could Not Refuse

In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, Armenia rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favor of cooperation with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Yet the country’s future in the Eurasian Economic Union seems uncertain – and the door to Brussels might not be completely shut. On September 3, 2014 it was exactly one […]

Protests against a new trade agreement between Taiwan and China, Taipei, March 2014 © Tenz1225 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Walking the Line of Rapprochement

After more than six decades of conflict over the political status of Taiwan, Beijing and Taipei are normalizing their relations. Yet, how much Chinese influence can the island state’s democracy tolerate? On 25 June 2014, for the first time in over 60 years, China sent a ministerial-level figure on an official visit to Taiwan. Zhang Zhijun, head […]

The centre of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city © Francisco Anzola via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Is Myanmar’s Progress about to Unravel?

Buddhist monks who incite hatred against Muslims are gaining political ground in Myanmar as President Thein Sein and his administration continue to turn a blind eye to the worsening conditions of the Rohingyas, an ethnic group and a Muslim minority, living mainly in the state of Rakhine. Some fear a proposed set of laws will […]

Ralf Breth, the Head of OSCE Mission to Skopje, during a conference on good practices for political party and campaign financing in Skopje, October 2013 © OSCE/Silke Tittel (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Too Small, Too Personal

Media laws in Macedonia and Slovenia are largely in line with international standards. Yet to guarantee a transparent system and independent reporting this is not enough. In April 2014 the Republic of Macedonia held its fourth general parliamentary election in the last 8 years along with a regularly scheduled presidential election. As usual it was […]