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 […]

Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of the Republic of Madagascar, at UN Headquarters in New York © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Madagascar’s Rocky Path to Democracy

After five years of political turmoil and economic standstill, Madagascar seems to be headed for recovery. The new democratic government wants to restore rule of law, tackle poverty, and foster growth. Yet the island remains burdened by a legacy of power struggles and corruption. The men open the heavy steel door of the container. This […]

© Ocean Photography/veer

Progress and Roll-Back of Europeanization

Ten years after their accession to the European Union, Poland is seen as a model of development while Hungary is turning to a populist, in some ways illiberal, nationalism. These diverging trends highlight how fragile attachment to Western orientation and institutions potentially is. The nations of Central-Eastern Europe provide an interesting case study of the […]

Narendra Modi addresses victory rally in Ahmedabad © Narendra Modi via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Can Narendra Modi Undermine Indian Secularism?

India’s new Prime Minister is one of the country’s most divisive political figures. Does Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist politics and his development agenda threaten religious pluralism and secularism in India? Now that Hindu nationalist politician Narendra Modi has assumed power in the world’s largest democracy as its 15th prime minister, it’s pertinent that some questions […]

Protester in Istanbul, September 2013 © Tophee via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Judicial Defense

Turkey is deeply split between supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the opposition. The constitutional court remains one of the few buffers between them. But is this enough to uphold democracy? In Turkey’s local elections at the end of March, the ruling Development and Justice Party (AKP) won a landslide victory gaining 45.6 […]

Kick it like Rousseff © Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR