Photo: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma

State Capture in South Africa

A recently-released report on State Capture indicates that one family could seemingly succeed in skewing the spending priorities of the government in Pretoria. It’s a crisis induced by weak state institutions and it has enraged many South Africans. South African Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s much anticipated report on state capture released on November 3, 2016 […]

Photo: President of Liberia Ellen Jonhson-Sirleaf

Gender Equality – The Exception of Rwanda

Women are generally underrepresented in leadership positions. One rare exception to this rule is Rwanda, one of the most hard-line autocratic regimes. What can sub-Saharan African countries tell us about the relationship between gender inequality and democracy? According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report published last October by the World Economic Forum Rwanda has […]

Picture: Cracked EU vs Russia flags. Ukrainian crisis conceptual image. Foto: Bröckelnde Flaggen der EU und Russland.

EU-Russia Sanctions: An Unsteady Deadlock

The European Union and Russia have been locked in an economic struggle over Ukraine for two years. With Donald Trump the next president of the United States, the West’s Russia policy might substantially change – and Europe’s Eastern policy is today more uncertain than ever. In July 2014, following Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and […]

No Blank Checks for Europe’s Populists

The populist turn in the West since the global economic crisis and the refugee crisis is undermining Europe’s liberal democratic model. But are illiberal ideals really as popular as they seem? From Donald Trump in the US to Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the forces of illiberal, nationalist populism are on the rise across the West. […]

President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers a speech during the turnover rites of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Duterte’s Plan to Revive Philippine Democracy

The Philippine president is working towards a constitutional amendment in favour of greater federalism and parliamentarism. Could this empower the country’s citizenry and strengthen democracy? And how does it fit in with Duterte’s controversial policies against drugs and crime? The new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has garnered global attention for his controversial policies […]

Presidential ballots after counting

Sub-Sahara Africa Fights over Presidential Term Limits

Should he stay or should he go? With regards to the president, the answer to this question is subject of heated debates in Burundi, Congo, DR Congo and Rwanda. The hollowing out of term limits raises grave concerns about the political transformation of many Central and East African countries. It’s election time in Central and […]

A Last day of Hajj - all pilgrims leaving Mina, many already in Mecca for farewell circumambulation of Kaaba
Government buildings in Tunis

Is Tunisia’s 2014 Constitution Already Obsolete?

Tunisia – often lauded for its democratic development after the Arab Spring – is engulfed in a political power struggle and personal rivalries between office holders. Now the country’s constitution is increasingly coming under threat. More than one year and a half after the legislative and presidential elections in Tunisia in October and November 2014, […]

Ulan Bator - Mongolia - The Parliament

Mongolia: The Hidden Welfare Champion?

The World Social Forum convenes in Montreal from August 9-14. On occasion of the world’s largest civil society gathering, we look at an unknown star of social policy: Mongolia. Capitalizing on its mineral wealth, the country has set out to become a leading welfare state amongst emerging and developing countries.  In parliamentary elections on 29 […]

Rio de Janeiro downtown and Favéla/Sugarloaf/Pain de Sucre

Political Doping on the Eve of the Olympics

Hardly any other country included in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) has been as diligent in combating corruption as Brazil. Indeed, the country’s prosecutors need all the resolve they can muster: Brazil’s political system has recently been shaken by several bribery scandals, which have contributed to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. An analysis. […]