Democracy

Revitalizing Democracy in Asia

How can reform-oriented political leaders utilize the rapid social change in Asia and Oceania for their democratic agenda? This question was at the core of a roundtable on “Next Generation Democracy” in Díli, Timor-Leste. As developing Asia struggles with consolidating their fragile democratic achievements, Timor-Leste is already reckoned by some as democracy’s new poster child […]

Angola at a Crossroads

The announcement of Angolan longtime president José Eduardo dos Santos not to stand for reelection has shaken up the country’s political scene. Sylvia Croese looks at Angola ahead of the 2017 legislative elections and at the “president in waiting”. General elections in Angola will take place on the 23 August 2017. These are the third […]

Presidential Elections in Rwanda: No Level Playing Field

Unlike in 2003 and 2010, even the semblance of a competitive electoral process has disappeared in the run-up to this year’s presidential poll in Rwanda. Filip Reyntjens looks at President Paul Kagame’s electoral campaign and the latest measures his regime is mounting against the opposition. “More of a coronation than real contest.” That is what […]

The End of Malaysia’s Multi-Ethnic Coalition?

For decades, the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional has narrowed the ethnic and religious divides in Malaysia. In the run-up to the next general elections, however, Prime Minister Najib Razak is intensifying cooperation with the Islamic party PAS, alienating large parts of his coalition and the population. The first quarter of 2017 indicated that Malaysia’s economy […]

Talking Truth to Turkey

How scientific analysis can help countering President Erdogan’s fake narrative of Turkey’s thriving democracy and why the European Union should reconsider its policy towards EU accession countries. In his official message for Europe Day on 9 May 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country “which has been a part of Europe historically, […]

As Populists Rise in the West, Arab Autocrats Rejoice

The decay of democratic norms in European and U.S. policy-making plays into the hands of autocratic leaders in the Middle East and North Africa. While Prime Minister Theresa May officially announced the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU on 29 March 2017, and constant leaks and news from the White House about President Donald […]

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 […]

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 […]

Construction workers at project construction site

Investing in Democracy

Democratically governed countries usually offer better conditions for long-term foreign investment than autocratic ones – particularly more stability, greater legal certainty and more efficient governance. Thus, from a company perspective, investing in democracies does not only feel right, it is also the more rational choice. The Chinese government is losing out – big time – […]

Nuevo Mas banners at Plaza Congreso

“Kirchnerismo Failed to Consolidate Its Authoritarian Trend”

After the Peronists lost the presidential elections in November 2015, we spoke with democracy activist and think tank director Gabriel Salvia about the legacy of kirchnerismo, the structural deficits of Argentinian democracy and the most important reform steps ahead. BTI Blog: After 12 years under Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, every […]

A graffiti showing Hugo Chavez

Maduro’s Time is Running Out

Faced with electoral setback and rising popular discontent, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro just announced a number of economic reforms. But will these suffice to combat the country’s economic and social crises? In Venezuela’s most recent parliamentary elections on December 6, 2015, Chavismo experienced its first political setback since coming to power 17 years ago. The […]

Rohingya refugee camp in Myebon in Rakhine State of Myanmar © Evangelos Petratos EU/ECHO, Myebon, June 2013 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A New Refugee Crisis Looming?

Southeast Asia is seeing persecuted minorities fleeing their homeland. As in Europe, lack of political consensus has exacerbated the situation – and a new wave of migration is just about to start. 2015 will be remembered as the year of mass migration. This year, the world has endured an unprecedented flood of haunting images. The […]

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 […]