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    Peaceful transitions of power have been rare in modern states, but once the habit has been acquired it sticks

Peaceful transitions of power have been rare in modern states, but once the habit has been acquired it sticks

What incentives are there for non-democratic governments to agree to risk losing power in elections? Based on an analysis of over 3,000 elections which have taken place across the world since 1788, Adam Przeworski writes that the practice of peacefully changing governments via the ballot box has been a relatively rare occurrence in modern history. Nevertheless, he notes that […]

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Why democracy doesn’t always improve human rights

The promotion of democracy has often formed a key component of strategies for improving human rights across the world. Courtenay R. Conrad writes that while this relationship between democracy and human rights is well established, in practice democratic institutions are not always capable of constraining human rights violations and in some cases may even make them worse. She argues […]

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    Strengthening the role of citizens and national parliaments in decision-making is key to solving the EU’s democratic deficit

Strengthening the role of citizens and national parliaments in decision-making is key to solving the EU’s democratic deficit

The European Union has often been accused of having a ‘democratic deficit’. Ahead of the European elections on 22-25 May, Chris Terry outlines proposals put forward by the Electoral Reform Society in the UK for improving EU democracy. Among other reforms, he suggests that improving the representativeness of MEPs by using open-list voting systems, increasing the accountability of the […]

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April 30th, 2014|Chris Terry|0 Comments|
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    A lack of ‘real democracy’ is the key reason driving the spread of protests across the world

A lack of ‘real democracy’ is the key reason driving the spread of protests across the world

The world has seen a number of high profile protests in recent years, from the Arab Spring to the “Indignados”, or the Euromaidan in Kyiv. Hernán Cortés Saenz looks at data from more than 800 protests across the world since 2006, finding that protests are increasing, especially in developing regions such as Latin America. He writes that these protests […]

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    Turkey’s Twitter ban is easily bypassed, but there are no easy answers to Erdoğan’s abuse of power

Turkey’s Twitter ban is easily bypassed, but there are no easy answers to Erdoğan’s abuse of power

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced a block on the use of Twitter in the country. Burcu Baykurt writes that while the actual ban on Twitter is largely unworkable from a technical standpoint, the move is aimed at stabilising Erdoğan’s political support base ahead of local elections. More importantly, the fact that the prime minister can implement […]

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    International organisations must take the lead on reducing income inequality

International organisations must take the lead on reducing income inequality

Is income inequality always bad for society? Francesc Trillas writes on the impact of inequality on democracy. Taking issue with the perspectives of economists such as Gregory Mankiw, he argues that a growing income gap between the wealthy and the rest of society can pose a fundamental challenge for a country’s political system. He notes that the effects of […]

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