Book challenge consolidating democracy democracy journal regional third wave


With some prominent exceptions (such as Indonesia, Mexico, and Ukraine), the democratic gains of the past decade have come primarily in smaller and weaker states.In large, strategically important countries, such as Nigeria and Russia, the expansion of executive power, the intimidation of the opposition, and the rigging of the electoral process have extinguished even the most basic form of electoral democracy.In a few short years, the democratic wave has been slowed by a powerful authoritarian undertow, and the world has slipped into a democratic recession.Democracy has recently been overthrown or gradually stifled in a number of key states, including Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela, and, most recently, Bangladesh and the Philippines.BEYOND THE FAÇADE Western policymakers and analysts have failed to acknowledge the scope of the democratic recession for several reasons.First, global assessments by the Bush administration and by respected independent organizations such as Freedom House tend to cite the overall number of democracies and aggregate trends while neglecting the size and strategic importance of the countries involved.It is a basic principle of any military or geopolitical campaign that at some point an advancing force must consolidate its gains before it conquers more territory.

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There are elections, but they are contests between corrupt, clientelistic parties.Even in the Arab world, the trend is visible: in 2005, democratic forces in Lebanon rose up to peacefully drive out Syrian troops and Iraqis voted in multiparty parliamentary elections for the first time in nearly half a century.But celebrations of democracy's triumph are premature.Many observers fear that Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador may be headed down the same road as Chávez .



Book challenge consolidating democracy democracy journal regional third wave comments


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