Since the destruction of the Saddam Hussein's totalitarian Ba'athist regime and the liberation of Iraq in the U.S.- and British-led Second Gulf War of spring 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority headed in Baghdad by L. Paul Bremer has had to cope with some unpredictable circumstances, has made some unforced errors, and has notched some significant achievements in its efforts to bring security and self-government to the Kurds, Shi'ite and Sunni Arabs, and other peoples of Iraq. Whatever one thinks of how the war began, the whole civilized world has a vast stake in setting Iraq on the path toward democracy and the rule of law, and the case for cautious optimism remains strong.
Despite the economic concerns of those opposed to the eastward expansion of the European Union, the small economies of the new member states should pose few problems; fears of a cultural gap between "old" and "new" Europe are likewise misguided, as are charges that the entrance of the members will paralyze EU decision making. Enlargement reduces the chances of constructing a pan-European state, but it will put the EU under extra pressure to offer citizens meaningful forms of democratic participation. For all the changes that the entrance of postcommunist states will bring to the Union-and for all the democratic challenges in particular-the benefits of enlargement for Europe as a whole will clearly exceed the costs.
The European Union has played a crucial role in the process of democratic consolidation in new democracies in Eastern Europe. The promise of membership has encouraged political moderation. Efforts to meet the EU's membership criteria have significantly accelerated the modernization of institutions, the introduction of the rule of law, and the building of a transparent market economy. Even debates in candidate countries about the EU's "democratic deficit" have been helpful with regard to understanding democracy.
However, the EU's role notwithstanding, internalizing democratic values values will take some time in societies deeply marked by decades of communist rule.
European Union countries -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
Europe -- Economic integration.
A border of development, not one of 'civilization' divides the European continent in two uneven halves, which have become all the more visible after the Big Bang enlargement
This paper discusses‚ 'Wider Europe', the Europe beyond the current Schengen borders. As the European identity is fuzzy and the European Union borders a combination of haphazard and necessity, notably the need to keep protect wealthy Europe from poor Europe, turning the current border into a new wall would be a mistake. Unlike the countries in the first wave of enlargement, Wider Europe countries are still struggling with weak states and unfinished transitions. More creative policies than just the conditionality based enlargement as usual will be needed to make wider Europe catch up, but the project may prove more realistic and worthwhile than furthering the political integration of the current members. The paper argues therefore that no border should be set for Europe, and enlargement should continue as long as Europe’s power as an emulator is not yet exhausted.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- Military policy.
National security -- Europe.
Scholars, policy-makers, and pundits have long debated the impact of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on East European democratization. This article argues that NATO has been an essential instrument of democratic transition and consolidation because it has a) guaranteed security, a fundamental precondition of democratization; b) exerted a positive general influence on political processes; and c) urged and helped shape specific policies in the military-security domain. After explaining the East European states' interest in gaining full membership in the Alliance, the article analyzes the debates preceding the 1997 and 2002 enlargement decisions and the ways in which 9/11 has changed NATO's expansion.
The enlargement of the European Union will contribute to democratic consolidation and stability in Europe's eastern half. But Europe is now hesitating between two visions of its future that reflect two opposite fears. One is the fear of the EU's founding countries that enlargement will lead to a "Europe without borders" that will empty the European project of its content. The other is the fear of candidate countries that the formation of a "core Europe" will drain enlargement of its substance. To prevent the promise of a reunited Europe from dissolving into disillusionment, it is high time to begin dissipating the mutual misunderstandings that hedge about the question of enlargement.
This essay presents the findings of the 2004 Freedom House survey of Freedom in the World. The essay examines broad trends in political rights and civil liberties and finds 88 Free countries, 55 states are rated as Partly Free and 49 are rated as Not Free, with the widespread absence of liberties. In the last year, 25 countries registered improvements and 13 declined in their fundamental freedoms. This essay correlates levels of freedom with economic development and examines the tenure of freedom in every state as reflected by the 31-year times-series record of the survey. Freedom in the World is an annual comparative global survey of political rights and civil liberties as reflected in assessments conducted by 22 analysts and reviewed by 17 senior academic scholars.
Indonesia's democratic experiment is scheduled to undergo an unprecedented series of political tests in 2004: legislative elections at national, provincial and district levels in April; the first round of a first-ever direct presidential election in July; and if no candidate wins an absolute majority on the first round, a second round of presidential balloting in September. These contests could exacerbate underlying cleavages, and the results could facilitate eventual deadlock between executive and legislative institutions. The greater danger, however, lies in the chance that future leaders may fail to alleviate corruption, violence, and poverty, discrediting democracy in the eyes of a public more concerned with performance than procedures.
While many Muslims in Indonesia-the world's most populous Muslim-majority country-believe that laws should be broadly in accord with Islam, relatively few support policies advocated by Islamist activists. At the mass level, Islamism is a rural rather than an urban phenomenon. Islamist leaders may be alienated urbanites, but their followers are disproportionately rural and subscribe to a particularly rural-Indonesian understanding of religion and society. Indonesia's largest Muslim social organizations are significant obstacles to the further growth of Islamism. Not only are their leaders tolerant and pluralistic, but their broader memeberships seem immune to Islamism's allure
Dalton, Russell J.
Scarrow, Susan E.
Cain, Bruce E.
The popular pressures for reforms of the democratic process have mounted across the OECD nations over the past generation. In response, democratic institutions are changing, evolving, expanding in ways that may alter the structure of the democratic process. These changes include reforms of representative democracy proceses, the expansion of direct democracy, and the introduction of new forms of advocacy democracy. Indeed, some observers claim that we are witnessing the most fundamental transformation of the democratic process since the creation of mass democracy in the early 20th Century. This essay first summarizes the institutional reforms that are occurring in advanced industrial democracies. Given these changes, we consider how each of the three modes fulfills Dahl's criteria for democracy, and how the shifting patterns of democratic access are transforming the relationship between citizens and their political system. This essay is adapted from their edited volume, Democracy Transformed? Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies (Oxford University Press, 2003).
With its third national election since the watershed political reforms of 1996, Mexico has successfully consolidated a democratic regime. As the first half of Vicente Fox's administration has demonstrated, however, certain features of this system seriously impede effective governance. Chief among these features is the combination of presidential rule with a three-party system. Most of the institutional reforms currently under consideration, such as the reelection of federal deputies, are unlikely to solve the problems this system generates. In this challenging institutional context, more is demanded of Mexican political leaders than they have so far been able to deliver.
Freedom House president Adrian Karatynycky has claimed in the Journal of Democracy that "democracy has been significantly more successful in monoethnic societies than in ethnically divided and multiethnic societies." Is this often-heard claim true? Does heterogeneity promote conflict and harm democratization? Our cross-national analysis finds scant evidence for this notion. Since the obverse of this argument-i.e., that social diversity portends disastrous confict and therefore calls for authoritarian politics-is a favorite rationale put forward by undemocratic leaders in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere, we suggest that students and friends of democracy should treat the alleged link between diversity and division with skepticism.