Presidential Elections in Egypt: A Sense of Déjà-vu

Egyptians vote for their next president from March 26-28, 2018. According to the National Election Authority, more than 59 million voters are registered for this election. But do they have a choice? Remember Egypt’s last presidential elections in May 2014 when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi got 97% of all votes? When only one opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, […]

Do Strongmen Govern Better?

In many developing and transition countries, people are looking for simple solutions and flirt with authoritarianism. This trend will have dire consequences because autocracies are hopelessly inferior to democracies in the long term. Within just a few days, the leaders of the two most influential autocracies, China and Russia, have set the course for continuity […]

Mauritius: Ready for a Second Economic Miracle?

On March 12, 2018, Mauritius celebrates 50 years of independence. The country is proud of its economic progress and the government has set an ambitious goal: to transform the remote island state into a high-income country within the next few years. What is the origin of the Mauritian success story? In 1961 Nobel-prize-winning British economist […]

Russian Presidential Election: To the Victor, Stagnation

Putin will remain Russia’s strong man for another six years. But his muscle-flexing on the international stage is designed to divert attention from the country’s dismal economic outlook. A key feature of democratic elections, according to Polish-American political scientist Adam Przeworski, is their “institutionalized uncertainty”: Anyone can win. There is no question that Russia’s presidential […]

Peaceful Olympics amid Thawing Tensions

On 9 February the Pyeongchang Olympics will be opened. This means that South Korea will be the first country examined by the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) to host both summer and winter games. We fact-check the 2018 Olympics through the looking glass of selected criteria and indicators of our index, which will be published in […]

The Regional Proxy War in Yemen: Deadly Interferences

Yemen is suffering one of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophes. To resolve it, it is necessary to look beyond the national conflict. Yemen’s civil war is complex. It’s a violent conflict between competing Yemeni factions, each of which is allying itself with regional, sectarian, tribal and Islamist groups. The country has a long history of instability and […]

Money Can’t Buy You Love – but Influence, Apparently

China under Xi Jinping is deeply concerned with its global status and standing and aims to regain its deserved place on the global stage. This has dramatic consequences not only for China but for the rest of the world. One of the most important developments with regards to China has been the bold departure from […]

Brazil: The Drama of Unpredictability

Uncertainty about the 2018 presidential elections, which will be held in October, weigh heavily on Brazil. A court decision this week may cost former president Lula da Silva his candidacy. As Brazil braces for its most important election in decades, hopes of stabilization are dwindling. The country is slowly stepping out of an almost three-year […]

Moldova’s European Integration Is on Hold

In late November, the leaders of the European Union met with six Eastern Partnership countries in Brussels to review what has been achieved since their last summit in 2015. A matter of concern was the former symbol of hope: Moldova. Just a few years ago, Moldova used to be seen as success story of the […]