Democracy Articles

A Tunisian Islamist Looks to the Future

5:05 PM, Dec 01, 2011

Earlier in the week Israel Hayom reported that the new Tunisian constitution may include “a section condemning Zionism and ruling out any friendly ties with Israel.” Yesterday Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of al-Nahda (Revival), the main Islamist party that won more than 40 percent of the seats in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections two weeks ago, disputed the report. “I don’t think this clause will be included in the constitution,” said Ghannouchi.

 Read more

Class Divisions at Occupy Wall Street?

12:23 PM, Nov 17, 2011

The Daily Show explores whether there is class division at the Occupy Wall Street encampment:

 Read more

The Autumn of Hong Kong

Increasingly, it’s one country, one system.
Oct 24, 2011

Hong Kong

 Read more

Let Down By Lobo

The Honduran leader has been a major disappointment.
8:10 AM, Oct 05, 2011

When Honduran leader Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo visits the White House today, it will be a watershed moment in the Central American country’s diplomatic rehabilitation.

 Read more

N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue: Let's 'Suspend' Elections to Fix America

3:51 PM, Sep 27, 2011

Well, I suppose we should give Governor Perdue credit for thinking outside the box:

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that," Perdue said. "You want people who don't worry about the next election." 

 Read more

Saudi Arabia Grants Women Limited Election Rights

9:01 AM, Sep 27, 2011

On September 25, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made world headlines by proclaiming the right of his female subjects to nominate and compete as candidates in municipal elections.

 Read more

Another Voting Paradox

Political scientists and democracy.
Sep 19, 2011

While most Americans spend their Labor Day weekend savoring the last moments of summer vacation, political scientists are normally hard at work at their annual association meeting, held this year in Seattle. This event is usually a rather sedate affair, with scholars debating such recondite subjects as “Bayesian approaches to political research” and “The political-theological problem in Xenophon’s thought.”

 Read more

Democracy in Libya

The unintended benefits of a protracted conflict
Aug 29, 2011

Benghazi, Libya

 Read more

Perry Preview on Foreign Policy

11:43 AM, Aug 23, 2011

Rick Perry only entered the presidential race a week and a half ago. As governor, Perry’s foreign policy experience has been limited. And his views on these issues have hardly been relevant, even if they’ve been known, since few care what the chief executive of Texas thinks about America’s relationship with the rest of Asia. But now that’s changed.

 Read more

Obama: 'The Time has Come for President Assad to Step Aside'

9:10 AM, Aug 18, 2011

President Obama has just called upon Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to step down. "We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way," the president said in a statement. "He has not led.  For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

 Read more

Assad’s Noose Tightens

12:00 PM, Aug 09, 2011

Beirut—Kuwait and Bahrain are the most recent additions to the list of Gulf Cooperation Council states that have withdrawn their ambassadors to Syria. First Qatar yanked its diplomat, after a regime-led mob attacked Doha’s embassy in Damascus. Now, with the ruler in Damascus laying siege to Deir al-Zour, and murdering Sunni Muslims in the middle of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia has been compelled to act, withdrawing its ambassador yesterday, shortly before Kuwait and Bahrain made their announcements.

 Read more

Tibet's New Leader, Lobsang Sangay

4:31 PM, Aug 08, 2011

Lobsang Sangay was sworn in today as head of Tibet’s democratic exile government in Dharamsala, India. He succeeds Samdhong Rinpoche, the first directly elected Kalon Tripa, or chief of cabinet, who served two terms.

 Read more

Al Gore: ‘We Need to Have an American Spring’

9:44 AM, Aug 04, 2011

The other night on Current TV, former vice president Al Gore said to the host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann that America needs to work toward the “reinvigoration of democracy.”

“We need to have an American spring,” Gore said. “You know, the Arab Spring—the nonviolent part of it isn’t finished yet—but we need to have an American Spring, a kind of an American Tahrir Square. Non-violent change, where people from the grassroots get involved again.”

 Read more

Murderers & Double Standards

8:39 AM, Aug 03, 2011

In his column for Tablet, Lee Smith asks, "The recent massacres in Oslo, Norway, and Hama, Syria, were both carried out by heartless sociopaths. Why does one of them—Syria’s Bashar al-Assad—continue to enjoy diplomatic relations with Washington?"

 Read more

Courage in the Face of Terror

The only surprise in Syria is the opposition.
12:37 PM, Aug 01, 2011

President Obama deserves some credit for using strong language to condemn the Syrian regime’s massacre of peaceful protestors over the weekend in Hama, Deraa, Idlib and other cities in the pre-Ramadan onslaught. With reports still coming in, the most conservative assessment estimates that 145 were killed.

 Read more

U.S. Intelligence Confirms: Russia Bombed U.S. Embassy, cont.

10:57 AM, Jul 28, 2011

Following this write up, Joshua Foust seems to have regained an interest in the reports that Russia is responsible for bombing the American embassy in Georgia.

 Read more

U.S. Intelligence Confirms: Russia Bombed U.S. Embassy

2:41 PM, Jul 27, 2011

Last week, Eli Lake reported on a very specific allegation by a senior Georgian official that the Russian GRU was behind a series of bombings in that country, including the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. The charge was so detailed that it even included the name of the Russian officer who had coordinated the attack, and his last known whereabouts in the Russian occupied Georgian province of Abkhazia.

 Read more

'Syria's Youth Revolutionaries'

5:05 PM, Jul 21, 2011

Journalist and Arab media specialist Hussain Abdul Hussain links to a remarkable film about the Syrian uprising, Syria’s Youth Revolutionaries:

 Read more

Insecure in Egypt

10:40 AM, Jul 14, 2011

It’s been five months since the revolution that ended the 30-year tenure of Hosni Mubarak, but the upheaval in Egypt is far from over. Large protests have become routine if not habitual in Egypt. In late June, 1,000 civilians criticizing the slow pace of reform were injured in clashes with riot police in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. More recently, on July 8 tens of thousands of Egyptians descended on the square in hopes of “sav[ing] the revolution.”

 Read more

Chinese Author Escapes Repression

1:41 PM, Jul 13, 2011

The author Liao Yiwu has left China. Repeatedly denied the right to travel abroad, Liao recently slipped out of China to Vietnam, and arrived last week in Germany.

 Read more

Not the Kind of Leadership We’re Looking For

Why is the State Department defending Malaysia in the wake of democratic crackdowns?
3:00 PM, Jul 08, 2011

Secretary Clinton had nothing but glowing remarks for Malaysia’s leadership when she stopped there in November of last year.  “We already have a strong partnership based on common values like respect for cultural diversity, pluralism, religious tolerance… We know that Malaysia is a leader in this region…. [and is] increasingly being looked to as both a thought leader and a model globally,” Clinton said at the time.

 Read more

Russia Working Group Blasts Kremlin’s Latest Power Grab

3:28 PM, Jun 24, 2011

This week, “Russia denied registration of a key opposition political party Wednesday, effectively barring it from upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections that the Kremlin had hinted might be open to some competition,” the Wall Street Journal reports. According to opposition leader Boris Nemtsov “"his is an announcement that there will be no elections, because there will be no opposition parties…The decision comes from the very top.”

 Read more

Reset on the Ropes?

4:11 PM, Jun 14, 2011

Earlier today, Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, deputy whip in the House, put out a statement signaling his support for the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act.

 Read more

Obama in the Abstract

Spokesman for the ‘international community.’
Jun 06, 2011

Let’s assume that it was not President Obama’s intention for the final section of his big Mideast speech, in which he took up the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to entirely overwhelm everything he had just said in support of democratization and the “universal rights” of those living in the region.

 Read more

Investors Shorting Russia—and Reset

3:00 PM, May 31, 2011

Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport had been planning to provide an initial public offering to investors this week, allowing folks from around the world to buy shares in the currently private company that operates the facility. Suddenly, over Memorial Day weekend and in the middle of the night, Domodedovo sent out a statement saying that it had canceled its plans and pulled the IPO. Why, and why so suddenly?

 Read more

Text of President Obama's Middle East Address

11:37 AM, May 19, 2011

Here's the full text, as prepared for delivery, of President Obama's Middle East address:

Office of the Press Secretary

 Read more

Israel’s Not Protecting Assad—Obama Is

2:00 PM, May 13, 2011

It’s Friday, so Syrians are out in the streets again protesting, as they have been on every Friday now for almost two months, braving the atrocities of a regime that has surrounded several Syrian cities with tanks and allegedly fired on its citizens with artillery.

 Read more

Senate Resolution Aims to Undermine Syrian Regime, Urge Obama to Act

1:26 PM, May 12, 2011

A bipartisan group of senators joined together yesterday to discuss a proposed Senate resolution on Syria, which would condemn the rogue regime and urge the Obama administration to act decisively.

 Read more

Oslo Journal: Human Rights

9:41 AM, May 12, 2011

The Oslo Freedom Forum is the brainchild of activist and social entrepreneur Thor Halvorssen. As the National Review’s Jay Nordlinger recently commented, Halvorssen’s Forum is “that rare thing under the sun: a genuine human rights conference.”

 Read more