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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “democracy”

Trump Isn’t Sure If Democracy Is Better Than Autocracy

What a difference a couple of decades make. Back in the early to mid-1990s, Americans (and some others) were pretty much convinced that U.S.-style liberal democracy was the wave of the future worldwide…Fast-forward to 2017, however, and autocracy seems back in vogue. Russia has reverted to de facto dictatorship, Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated more power than any leader since Mao, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has undertaken a wide-ranging purge of potential opponents and consolidated vast power in his own hands.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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Broad Support For Representative And Direct Democracy Globally, But Many Also Endorse Non-Democratic Alternatives

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military.

Read Here – Pew Research

An Era Of Authoritarian Influence?

For two decades after the end of the Cold War, the direction of international influence was clear: it radiated from liberal democracies outward, as the West sought to spread its model of governance around the world. With the help of Western-led democracy promotion, the thinking went, authoritarian states would be relegated to the dustbin of history. That has changed. In recent years, authoritarian states have boldly sought to influence Western democracies.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Trump Just Redefined Western Values Around Faith, Not Democracy

U.S. President Donald Trump just sought to redefine the West. In a speech to cheering crowds in Warsaw on Thursday, Trump described the West’s values in terms of religion and culture and called for the defense of its civilization against radical Islam. It amounted to a manifesto for his foreign-policy vision. The address included repeated invocations of God, faith, tradition, national sovereignty and family. It made only passing reference to what are usually cited as core Western values: the rule of law, democracy and freedom of speech. Religious tolerance did not get a mention.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Once A Model City, Hong Kong Is In Trouble

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule two decades ago, the city was seen as a model of what China might one day become: prosperous, modern, international, with the broad protections of the rule of law…Yet as the 20th anniversary of the handover approaches on Saturday, that perception of Hong Kong as something special — a vibrant crossroads of East and West that China might want to emulate — is fading fast.

Read Here – The New York Times

In A Deluge Of New Media, Autocrats Swim And Democracies Sink

Populist leaders often claim to speak for “the people,” a unified mass that supposedly represents the authentic core of the nation. They pose as champions of the people’s interests, but gradually conflate their personal interests with those of the people. Citizens who oppose the leader are depicted as somehow alien to the nation, traitorous agents of foreign powers or converts to degenerate foreign values. It is the media, willingly or not, that ultimately cement this conceptual bond between leader and public.

Read Here – World Affairs

Why Fragile States Matter

After the stunning collapse of the Iranian regime in 1979, country risk analysts everywhere became desirous of some method to better calculate the risk of political instability in countries across the world. For many, the holy grail became some type of quantitative index that would rank countries based on their potential for instability.

Read Here – The Cipher Brief

Is America Still Safe For Democracy?

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States—a man who has praised dictators, encouraged violence among supporters, threatened to jail his rival, and labeled the mainstream media as “the enemy”—has raised fears that the United States may be heading toward authoritarianism. While predictions of a descent into fascism are overblown, the Trump presidency could push the United States into a mild form of what we call “competitive authoritarianism”—a system in which meaningful democratic institutions exist yet the government abuses state power to disadvantage its opponents.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Which Classic Work Of International Relations Offers The Most Pertinent Description Of Today?

It is easy to say that nothing that is happening right now is normal, that the world has changed. It is harder but no less important to think about whether what seems strange right now does not amount to significant change in the future.

Read Here – The Washington Post

How To Save Capitalism From Itself

Social democracy now lies in ruins, its ragbag of policies rejected by electorates. Its heyday was the trente glorieuses, 1945–75, but, as Marc Levinson recounts in An Extraordinary Time, the splendid outcomes during these years cannot be attributed primarily to good economic policy choices.

Read Here – The Times Literary Supplement

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