September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 -- Influence.
The article claims that anti-Americanism is a "master framework" with broad and flexible appeal, and that any serious attempt to analyze the phenomenon must encompass an understanding not only of its various sources but also of the variety of purposes for which anti-Americanism is used as a political resource. Anti-Americanism and the local responses to it are driven to a significant extent not by concerns about America and its policies but by the intrinsic contradictions of post-ideological politics. In the view of the article the rise of anti-Americanism could become a major obstacle to promoting democracy in the world.
State-building—the creation of new governmental institutions and the strengthening of existing ones—is a crucial global issue. Weak or failed states are at the root of many of the world's most serious problems, from poverty and AIDS, to drug trafficking and terrorism, to the failure of democracies. While we know much about state-building, there is much that we do not know, particularly about transferring strong institutions to developing countries. We know how to transfer resources, people, and technology, but well-functioning public institutions require habits of mind and operate in complex ways that resist being moved. This is an area on which much more thought, attention, and research must be focused.
Catholicism played an important role in bringing about the third wave of democratization. This was due to a long historical rapprochement through which both church and the democratic state came to tolerate the other. The Church then exercised a direct influence upon democratization in many countries—strongly in Poland, Lithuania, Spain, the Philippines, and Brazil, but weakly in other places, like Argentina. The Church was most likely to exercise a strong influence when it was differentiated from the state—in its governance, in its transnational links, in its domestic alliances, and in its identification with national identity.
Democracy -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History.
Religious pluralism -- History.
Protestantism -- History.
According to cross-national research, Protestantism has significantly contributed to global democratization. While Protestantism does not inevitably cause democratization, it often generates social dynamics that favor it. Some of the most important of these are: 1) the rise of religious pluralism; 2) the development of democratic theory and practice; 3) the development of civil society; 4) the spread of mass education; 5) printing and the origins of a public sphere; 6) the reduction of corruption; and 7) economic development. The article explores how Protestant groups, including Protestant missionaries, have promoted these dynamics in the past. It also argues that contemporary Protestant movements—particularly Pentecostalism—are continuing to do so in the present, though with less dramatic results.
Eastern Orthodoxy and the Oriental Orthodox churches as well remain religiously prominent in the Orthodox heartland of Greece, Russia, and so on—areas that until fairly recently have not known much if any democracy. Nonetheless, the Trinitarian theology of Orthodoxy leads it to value freedom and equality, and to take a largely positive view of democracy. Along with democracy, however, come phenomena such as pluralism, difference, and competition, about which many Orthodox believers and churches feel considerably more ambivalent. The identity-cards controversy in Greece, arguments over religious liberty in Russia, and a lawsuit involving U.S. Orthodox laity and the Orthodox Archdiocese of America illustrate various aspects of this ambivalence.
It is no accident that democracy first arose within the ambit of Western or Latin Christianity. Looking at Christianity and democracy around the world today, one sees that the Roman Catholic Church has shed its stance of opposition, or at best grudging accommodation, to democracy and in fact become a defender of human rights and government by consent. Protestants affirm democracy as well, and the world of Orthodoxy, while ambivalent, is leaning in a direction that essentially accepts democracy. In their attitudes toward politics and the public sphere at least, all faiths that embrace democracy also tend to undergo a certain "Protestantization."
This essay, which focuses on the process of creating a permanent constitution, draws lessons from the experiences of 17 transitional countries, most of which have emerged from armed conflict over the past three decades. In relation to these cases, the author lays out a practical framework for constitution-making in Iraq, as of early March 2004. Forming a national consensus around a constitution and framework for accountable and participatory governance in Iraq is crucial. The outcome of the current debate about constitution-making could decide whether the country falls deeper toward chaos, reprises some form of authoritarianism, or takes its first shaky but real steps toward peace and free self-government.
Scholarly experts can be more helpful to democratic constitution-writers in ethnically divided countries by formulating specific recommendations than by overwhelming them with a barrage of options. Especially the following deserve the highest priority and should be the points of departure in constitutional negotiations: elections by proportional representation (specifically, closed-list proportional representation in not overly large districts), a parliamentary form of government, a cabinet in which power-sharing is prescribed in ethnic or partisan terms, a constructive vote of no confidence, a head of state elected by parliament or whose office is combined with the prime minister's, federalism and decentralization, a federal chamber that is less powerful than the lower house and in which the smaller states are only slightly over-represented, publicly funded autonomous schools for religious groups, and little or no use of the referendum.
Georgia (Republic) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
Democracy -- Georgia (Republic)
The reign of strongman presidents and the routine use of electoral fraud and manipulation have produced widespread apathy, resignation, and cynicism about the prospects for democracy in the Caucasus. In the fall of 2003, these trends dominated the presidential elections in Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the parliamentary elections in Georgia. But shortly after the elections, a brief and nonviolent series of mass protests in Tbilisi—the so-called Revolution of the Roses—forced Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze and his Citizens' Union of Georgia (CUG) to resign, and paved the way for democratic reform under Mikhail Saakashvili of the New National Movement. The inspiring events in Georgia hold a number of lessons for students of democratization and prodemocracy activists alike, and should make us reconsider the methods by which fragile openings to democracy may be sustained and widened.
Over the last 18 years, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda on the basis of a "non-party" semi-authoritarian regime. Since the beginning of 2003, they have been compelled to open the system up to uncontrolled multiparty competition. A number of factors explain this shift. including the persistence of opposition insurgency; the continuing opposition of the country's two traditional parties; movement towards political pluralism in the two neighboring states with which Uganda has intimate economic, cultural and political relations; and the larger global political environment that continues to delegitimize authoritarian or even semi-authoritarian regimes. However, the ongoing processes of change are fraught with a great deal of uncertainties.
Uganda enjoys the reputation of a fairly stable nation amidst the chaos of the Great Lakes Region. President Museveni has been hailed as leader among a "new breed" of African leaders who will transform the continent to shed its image of poverty, disease and war. Between 1986 and 1994 Uganda's human rights record and economic recovery were remarkable. From 1994, government started a web of constitutional provisions, laws and regulations that entrenched one-man rule. In 2004, government proposes to amend the Constitution to enable Museveni to rule for life, which will add him to a long list of African sit-tight dictators.
East Timor has emerged as the world's newest nation-state after belatedly achieving its full independence on 20 May 2002. Transition to statehood has also been accompanied by a transition to democracy. Since the 1999 Referendum in East Timor, in which the vast majority of East Timorese opted to leave the Indonesian state, East Timor has experienced elections for a Constituent Assembly and for a President. East Timor has adopted a semi-presidential model of government similar to that of Portugal or Mozambique. A much commented on political rivalry between East Timor's President, Xanana Gusmão, and the ruling party, Fretilin, need not be threatening to democratic practice within East Timor if it remains in the realm of policy debate—which it has so far. Despite the paucity of free and fair elections in East Timor in the past, the general public, still largely without formal education, appear to have embraced democratic practice. As with any newly democratizing country, especially one that faces the myriad of development obstacles that East Timor does, this fledging democracy will continue to face challenges in its development.
In an exchange of letters, leading Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, founder of the Varela Project and recipient of the European Parliament's Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, discusses with Vaclav Havel the lessons that the Czechoslovak postcommunist experience offers to Cubans who aspire to see in Cuba a nonviolent end to the tyrannical communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro and then a transition to democracy.