Construction workers along the Nile river in Luxor, Egypt © Dominic Chavez/World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

How to Overcome Authoritarianism in the Arab Economy

Getting rid of autocracy in the Middle East and North Africa is not just a challenge for politics. The economic sector too suffers under the stranglehold of the “nanny-state”. How to overcome it, depends very much on where you start from. From his own experience in office almost a year after the overthrow of the […]

Afghan parliament, March 2014 © Fardin waezi / UNAMA (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Afghanistan’s Future is Hanging by a Thread

Last year’s presidential elections were a huge achievement for Afghanistan’s infant democracy. Yet, will President Ashraf Ghani’s national unity government be able to face the challenges posed by US troop exit, Taliban peace talks, and the Afghan economy? A lot was at stake for Afghanistan during President Ashraf Ghani’s first official trip to the United […]

Construction works in Ethiopia © Simon Davis/Department for International Development (CC BY 2.0)

Inclusive Development is needed to Sustain “Africa Rising”

Against predictions, the past 15 years have seen many African countries on the path towards greater stability, investment and growth. Now the challenge is to ensure that this success filters down to the level of ordinary citizens. For most of the previous century Africa has generally suffered from negative stereotypes – particularly from a governance […]

Construction works in Ethiopia © Simon Davis/Department for International Development (CC BY 2.0)

Is Geothermal Power the Answer to Indonesia’s Energy Demand?

Indonesia has the largest geothermal reserves in the world. Yet, the government’s failure to manage its natural resources effectively and reform its regulatory environment remains an obstacle to fully tap into the country’s renewable energy wealth. The 17,500-island archipelago of Indonesia is home to about 260 million people, making it the 4th most populous country on […]

Tunisians demonstrate for peace, freedom of speech and for a secular state.

“Sovereign Debt is One of Democracy’s Weak Points”

Political scientist Stefan Wurster speaks about the shortcomings of democracy and why it nonetheless remains a successful model to meet the challenges of the future. BTI Blog: Responding to signals of democratic decline, the Club de Madrid has launched the Next Generation Democracy project with the goal of enabling democracy to better meet the challenges […]

Policy gear in Bangladesh © Rajiv Ashrafi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Is Bangladesh on the Brink of Civil War?

Bangladesh’s two main political parties have been deadlocked since the controversial general elections over one year ago. Political violence has now taken a turn for the worse as casualties continue to rise throwing the country further off the democratic path. The escalation began when Khaleda Zia, leader of the country’s largest opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party […]

City Scape of the Hangzhong road, China ©veer/veerguy

Asia at the Crossroads

Aside from China, nearly all the states in Asia make use of the trappings of democracy, such as elections, parliaments, and the separation of powers. A new report examines the future of democracy in Asia in the next 15 years. Asia has made significant progress towards democratization in recent decades. Despite being tested from outside […]

Xi Jinping, President of China

“It Has Become More Difficult to be Corrupt in China”

BTI Blog speaks with China expert Christian Göbel about Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign and how it is helping transform China from collectivist one-party rule to a one-person authoritarian system. BTI Blog: In Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), China is among the countries with the largest decline in points, despite a high profile anti-corruption […]

Voters outside a polling station for Kyrgyzstan's constitutional referendum, Bishkek, 27 June 2010 © OSCE/Alimjan Jorobaev

Asia’s Potemkin Democracies

Central Asia remains difficult terrain for democracy. Today democratic prospects for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan seem bleaker than ever. Central Asia is one of the most authoritarian regions in the world. Although there are substantial differences among the five “stans” in terms of government and freedoms allowed, none of them can be characterized […]

Richard Youngs © Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Thinking only about Security is not a Long Term Solution”

Responding to signals of democratic decline, the Club de Madrid has launched a two-year, multi-stakeholder process with the goal of enabling democracy to better meet the expectations and needs of all citizens while securing a sustainable future for generations to come. Following the inauguration of the Next Generation Democracy project, BTI Blog speaks with Richard Youngs […]