Jessica Pisano on How Zelenskyy Changed Ukraine

Jessica Pisano is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of "How Zelensky Changed Ukraine" in the Journal of Democracy and Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond.   Become a Patron! There were lots of opportunities for a certain part of Ukrainian... Continue Reading →

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Neil DeVotta on the Protests in Sri Lanka

Neil DeVotta is professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University. His article "Sri Lanka's Agony" was published in this July's issue of Journal of Democracy.   Become a Patron! As long as people are able to cast their ballot, irrespective of the illiberalism, irrespective of all these other shortcomings, democracy, at least from... Continue Reading →

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Democracy Books on Audible

Become a Patron! Democracy Books on Audible New students interested in the study of democracy may find themselves overwhelmed. Writers publish interesting new titles every week. So, it's difficult just to keep up and even harder to build a foundation of the classics at the same time. I recommend the use of audiobooks as a... Continue Reading →

Electoral Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats

Become a Patron! Order your copy of Democracy in Hard Places today! Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats The Hungarian opposition pursued a complicated electoral strategy against Viktor Orbán and Fidesz in the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary elections. They tried to unify the opposition into a single political party to overtake Fidesz in single member district competitions. The problem... Continue Reading →

Viktor Orbán and the New Conservative

Become a Patron! Viktor Orbán and a New Conservatism Viktor Orbán is not a traditional conservative. He has implemented a generous family policy to support new parents through subsidies for housing, childcare, and medical care. Of course, Hungary receives large sums of its budget through transfers from the European Union. But unlike conservatives in the United... Continue Reading →

Pluralism and its Complications for Democracy

  Become a Patron! Pluralism in Democracy Robert Dahl saw pluralism as a foundation of democracy and a challenge to democracy. The presence of independent organizations represent the freedom of association. They also provide opportunities to decentralize power throughout society. However, the growth of organizations also creates new centers of power that impose their influence... Continue Reading →

Fragile Autocracies

Become a Patron! Fragile Autocracies Many writers (including myself) refer to democracy as fragile. Even the most consolidated democracies face numerous threats from within and without its borders. However, the idea of democracy as fragile gives a false impression of authoritarianism as durable. In reality every regime has numerous internal and external threats to its... Continue Reading →

Faux Democracy

Become a Patron! Faux Democracy "Misappropriation of the word is a testament to democracy's appeal," write Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz in the recent Freedom in the World Report. The current democratic recession is different from those in the past. During previous autocratic waves, opponents of democracy openly attacked democratic governance. Both monarchists and fascists saw... Continue Reading →

Autocracy Today

Become a Patron! Autocracy Today Despite the decline of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism around the world, some things are different. Autocratic regimes today incorporate many democratic institutions. They also follow public opinion closely and even mobilize people to demonstrate genuine support for their policies. Most autocrats even engage in multiparty elections. Some elections... Continue Reading →

Pisano Reimagines Politics in Staging Democracy

Become a Patron! Staging Democracy The distinction between democracy and autocracy has become difficult to ascertain with the proliferation of so many hybrid regimes around the world. Most autocratic regimes hold multiparty elections. Of course, they are neither free nor fair. Nonetheless, they make efforts to demonstrate some form of electoral legitimacy. Moreover, the unfairness... Continue Reading →

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