Democracy

May 23, 2017
Iranian voters sent a strong message to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decisively electing incumbent President Hassan Rouhani to a second term in office.
May 23, 2017
The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, to discuss how the results from last Friday’s Iranian presidential election could impact Iranian domestic and foreign policy moving forward.
May 23, 2017
Hassan Rouhani’s decisive victory in the Iranian presidential elections held last week reveals that after 38 years, Iranians are still struggling to re­solve the conflicts and contradictions unleashed by the original Islamic Revolution of 1979.
May 12, 2017
After months of uncertainty following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, South Korea has a new president.
May 12, 2017
In his first days in office, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has tried to reassure the governments of the United States, Japan, and China that he will work to reduce tensions with North Korea, however his preference for engagement over sanctions has some experts wondering if
May 12, 2017
From day one, South Korea’s new President, Moon Jae-in, has shown he will be a different type of leader. He confirmed a campaign promise that he would consider visiting Pyongyang before Washington to tackle the North Korean nuclear issue, albeit only if the conditions were right.
April 19, 2017
The concept of political Islam has deep historical roots in Islamic societies and, during the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa, many moderate political Islamist groups rose to prominence. In Egypt, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won the presidency.
April 19, 2017
Usage of the term political Islam has become common in recent years as Islamist movements vie for influence in a changing Middle East.
April 19, 2017
The term “political Islam” has become commonplace after the Arab uprisings of 2011, during which Islamist groups rose to political prominence across the Middle East and North Africa. But what does “political Islam” really mean, and should Westerners fear it?
April 15, 2017
Turkey has a checkered history with democracy. Since adopting a multiparty parliamentary system, the country has suffered periodic military coups – including a failed putsch last July – designed to reassert the control of traditionalist military and political elites.
April 15, 2017
Speaking at a rally in Istanbul on March 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further escalated his ongoing fight with Europe: “Have you [Europeans] not burned and
April 15, 2017
Turks went to the polls on Sunday and voted “Yes” in Turkey’s constitutional referendum by a margin of just over 51 percent to nearly 49 percent.   Turkey’s three largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, all voted “No.” Major opposition parties have contested the validity of the results,
April 14, 2017
Speaking at a rally in Istanbul on March 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further escalated his ongoing fight with Europe: “Have you [Europeans] not burned and destroyed my mo
April 7, 2017
On April 16, Turkey will hold a constitutional referendum, which if passed, promises to transform the country’s governing system. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stands to gain expansive new executive powers - powers that critics say will create a de facto dictatorship in Turkey.
April 4, 2017
Vladimir Putin is portrayed in the West as the master manipulator in foreign policy, creating turmoil in U.S. and European elections and outfoxing his rivals in the Ukraine and Syria.
March 29, 2017
The elites still don’t get it.
March 22, 2017
The term “Deep State” has achieved new popularity in recent weeks, but not in reference to opaque military elites in faraway countries. Today, the term is aimed at the U.S. government itself.
March 22, 2017
The so-called “deep state” is like dark matter. There is wide belief in countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan that it exists, but no one has ever actually seen it. The term has now—rather surprisingly—become a part of the political lexicon in the United States.
March 22, 2017
Academic and policy analysts generally agree that Pakistan’s army and directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, exert a controlling influence over most of Pakistan’s core state policies.
February 10, 2017
On November 8 last year, Donald Trump upended the American political system with his surprising electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. That result has raised many questions about the U.S. political system.
January 19, 2017
The South Korean court’s unanimous decision to remove President Park Geun Hye from office will prompt a new election within 60 days. With the ruling conservative party fractured by the scandal, liberal candidate Moon Jae-in is the current front runner.
January 19, 2017
From South Korea’s point of view, the year of 2016 will be remembered as one of the most challenging years since the armistice of the Korean War was signed in 1953.
January 19, 2017
South Korea’s National Assembly voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye Dec. 9.  Since then, Park has been suspended from power and the nation is waiting on a Constitutional Court ruling finalizing the impeachment process, to reinstate or permanently remove Park from office. 
January 4, 2017
From Constitutional Court reforms that make the judiciary less independent of political power to restrictions on journalists to suppressing of the opposition, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is causing a commotion within the European Union (EU).
January 4, 2017
Poland’s democratic institutions are under pressure from the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS). PiS efforts to control the judiciary and media risk alienating its Western allies, which it relies on for defense and national security.
January 4, 2017
President-elect Donald Trump will inherit a close defense alliance with Poland when he enters the White House later this month. America is getting ready to deploy additional troops to Poland. An armored brigade combat team from Fort Carson, Colorado will be based in western Poland soon.
November 3, 2016
Hungary’s Viktor Orban is creating an illiberal democracy in central Europe. This is souring relations with the European Union (EU) and the current U.S.
November 3, 2016
The Fund for Peace’s (FFP) 2016 Fragile States Index ranks Hungary, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as the “most-worsened” country this year, due in part to its recent track record on refugees, human rights,
November 3, 2016
Hungary has decidedly taken a turn toward “illiberal” democracy, which is hurting its relationship with the United States. The Cipher Brief spoke with Ambassador András Simonyi, who served as Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S.
October 23, 2016
I just returned from my first visit to China—13 days of a typical tourist itinerary: Shanghai, Wuhan, Yangtze River, Chongqing, Xian, and Beijing. But even as a tourist, I was expecting to learn much about China—by reflecting both on what I saw and what I didn't see.
October 11, 2016
Late on Sunday, Bruno Tshibala, the Deputy Secretary and spokesman of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s largest opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), was arrested for his alleged role in violent anti-government protests that rocked the capital city of Ki
October 11, 2016
African leaders have tried many different ways to evade term limits in recent years. Usually these take a form of reinterpreting when an incumbent’s first term started. Or they orchestrate a referendum or constitutional amendment bypassing the term limit restriction.
October 11, 2016
With the recent announcement that presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be postponed until at least 2018, tensions have been rising over the continued reign of DRC President Joseph Kabila.
September 22, 2016
What most distinguishes human civilization in the 21st Century and during the emerging era of globalization is its ever intensifying complexity.
September 14, 2016
South Africa’s ruling party since the end of apartheid in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC), has been dropping in popular support, exemplified by recent losses in local elections.
September 14, 2016
The political party associated with anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela – the African National Congress (ANC) –  may, for the first time since apartheid ended, be in a position to lose the next presidential elections in 2019.
September 14, 2016
The political party almost synonymous with anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress (ANC), is losing its grip on power. At the same time, South African President and ANC party head Jacob Zuma is attempting to tighten his hold on the reins. 
August 16, 2016
Ten years ago, Thailand was enjoying a prolonged and robust economic and political revival following the Asian Financial Crisis that decimated its economy and gave birth to the 1997 Constitution, a document granting strong civilian control over the government and an important place for civil soci
August 16, 2016
The recent series of coordinated bombings that rocked several of Thailand’s popular tourist spots occurred amid an atmosphere of heightened tension within the country.
July 13, 2016
For the past decade, the world has experienced a mild but persistent recession of freedom and democracy. More countries have been declining, rather than gaining, in political rights and civil liberties, reversing a 15-year post-Cold War trend.
July 13, 2016
Democracy in Europe is in a parlous state at the moment. The British vote for exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) has highlighted deep-seated problems with democracy at both the EU and national levels.
July 13, 2016
Parties on the extreme ends of the political spectrum – along with anti-establishment candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – are moving into the political mainstream in democracies in the United States, Europe, and parts of Latin America.
November 23, 2015
The immediate aftermath of the heinous attacks on the French capital by the Islamic State Group has, perhaps, opened the possibility for a rapprochement between the United States and Russia. On the ‘sidelines’ of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, U.S.
November 23, 2015
The Russian government accused Human Rights Center Memorial, the country’s leading human rights organization, of plotting against the regime.
November 23, 2015
To say the relationship is frosty would probably be an understatement.  Formal meetings between U.S.
November 23, 2015
There are several considerations to keep in mind when assessing the sustainability of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership: his sense of paranoia, his nostalgia for the influence Russia used to hold globally as a superpower, and his desire for “stability” in Russia.  Significantly,
October 22, 2015
Democracy has become the most accepted form of governance over the last three decades across Latin America.
October 8, 2015
To ask about the state of democracy in Hong Kong is asking the wrong question.
May 18, 2017
Friday’s presidential election in Iran marks a pivotal moment for the Islamic Republic.
May 14, 2017
What is the most stable country in the world? Which is the most fragile? What determines those qualities?

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