What is the Purpose of a Constitution?

by Justin Kempf A review of Anti-Constitutional Populism edited by Martin Krygier, Adam Czarnota, and Wojciech Sadurski and Constitutionalism and a Right to Effective Government? edited by Vicki C. Jackson and Yasmin Dawood. The Purpose of a Constitution Among the most useful resources for those concerned about democracy is found at Constitute. It brings together 202... Continue Reading →

Zhao Ziyang and China’s Lost Opportunity

A review of Never Turn Back: China and the Forbidden History of the 1980s by Julian Gewirtz from Harvard University Press.  Review by Justin Kempf Zhao Ziyang I will admit that I never gave Zhao Ziyang much thought. He comes across as a supporting character without significant influence for China's history or politics. Deng Xiaoping... Continue Reading →

China’s Sharp Power and its Threat to Democracy

by Christopher Walker The "China Challenge" As China’s ruling Communist Party prepares to start its five-yearly congress beginning on October 16 - and with Xi Jinping set to complete his elevation to uncontested paramount leader - it is a fitting moment to consider the ways China’s global influence has evolved over Xi’s rule. It is also... Continue Reading →

When Foreign Policy Hits Home

By María Isabel Puerta Riera Biden In a Crossfire The Biden administration has been under fire since reports in early March suggested a change in the direction of the foreign policy toward Venezuela, including exploring the possibility of sanctions relief if the Nicolás Maduro regime agreed to certain conditions. The breakthrough came amid the global response to... Continue Reading →

Frank Dikötter on the History of China After Mao

Frank Dikötter is the author of three books about China under Mao called the People’s Trilogy. He is currently the Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. His latest book is China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower.   Become a Patron! Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox. This is... Continue Reading →

The Authoritarian Appeal in Backsliding Democracies

The Authoritarian Appeal in Backsliding Democracies By Dean Schafer Authoritarian Appeal Why do some authoritarian leaders appear to inspire genuine popular support? In the past decade, authoritarian strongmen have won elections in countries as different as Brazil, Hungary, the Philippines, Turkey, and the United States. Electoral autocracies—countries where elections happen, but serious concerns exist about... Continue Reading →

Brazil is on Edge: The Two Most Important Civil Society Groups in the Brazilian Presidential Election 

Brazil is on Edge: The Two Most Important Civil Society Groups in the Brazilian Presidential Election  by Dr Valesca Lima What Happened in the Brazilian Election The world's eyes are on Brazil now, as South America's largest democracy went into a polarized general election on October 1. After an election campaign marked by strong speeches and... Continue Reading →

Change is in the Air: The Protests in Iran

By Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Convenor of Middle East Studies Forum, Deakin University. He is the author of Middle East Politics and International Relations: Crisis Zone. You can follow him on Twitter at @S_Akbarzadeh Widespread protests against the ruling regime in Iran have raised serious questions about the future. Will the regime survive this popular expression of dissent?... Continue Reading →

Latin America’s Pendulum

Latin America’s Pendulum by María Isabel Puerta Riera  María is a Political Scientist teaching U. S. Government in Florida. Interested in U. S. and Latin American Politics.  Latin America’s Pendulum Over the past decade Latin America has faced significant challenges to governance from critical episodes that have led to the impeachment of Brazil's president to the incarceration of a former... Continue Reading →

Larry Diamond on Supporting Democracy in the World and at Home

Larry Diamond is widely considered the leading scholar of democracy. He is a professor at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was a co-founder of the Journal of Democracy with Marc Plattner in 1990. His influence on the thought and practice of democracy is incalculable. His recent article in Foreign Affairs is titled... Continue Reading →

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