Democracy

Reasonable Left, Irresponsible Right: & the Future of Social Democracy

With no shortage of catastrophes in the past 15 years worldwide — the democratic left is stepping up to provide stability amid the storm. Throughout the history of mankind, there have been catastrophes. In modern times, there have also been media representations of catastrophe, including worked-up or even imagined catastrophes.

Towards a More Secure Future Through Effective Multilateralism

As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, the security horizon is undoubtedly dark.

UN Report Details Taliban Abuses in Afghanistan

This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.

Racism Hurts People and Democracy in Peru

Banning the use of the same bathroom, insults and calling people animals are just a few of the daily forms of racism experienced by people in Peru, a multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country where various forms of discrimination are intertwined.

The Journey to Defend Human Rights Never Ends

As you know, after four years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, my mandate ends next week, on 31 August. The world has changed fundamentally over the course of my mandate.

An Unexpected Treasure

When University of Arizona political economy professor, William Mishler needed Kiribati census and household income data for a project he was working on with Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) he turned to the Pacific Data Hub (PDH) to access the microdata he needed.

Journalism Under Attack by Neo-Populist Governments in Central America

Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism.

Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

A Safe Haven for Ousted Political Leaders Escaping Executions and Hangings

When world political leaders, mostly presidents and prime ministers, are ousted from power following military coups or street demonstrations, they flee to “safe havens” to avoid being jailed, executed by firing squads or hanged in public. Perhaps one of the secure “safe havens”—and a popular “political retirement home”-- is Saudi Arabia, a traditionally authoritarian regime, which has provided sanctuary for leaders from Uganda, Tunisia, Pakistan, Yemen and Qatar.

Nonagenarian Opposition Backer Contends for Change in Zimbabwe

Idah Hanyani, popularly known as Gogo Chihera, has backed the opposition since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980. Born in Wedza, a district in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East province, the 91-year-old first supported United African National Council (UANC).

The Tragedy of Pakistan: Feudalism Camouflaged as Democracy

In recent days, as Pakistan’s economic woes have intensified, a veritable cottage industry has developed to suggest ways of putting the country back on track.

Time for a UN Human Rights Leader

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sits at the top of the UN’s human rights system. It’s a crucial role for the victims of violations and the many civil society activists who look to the UN system to set and apply human rights norms, monitor the human rights performance of states and hold rights violators to account.

Unprecedented Threats Against “Right to Protest” on the Rise World-wide

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778), once famously remarked: "I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend unto death, your right to utter them.” But that political axiom hardly applies to multiple governments in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America—including Greece, UK, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Myanmar, Chile, France, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cyprus – where the right to protest, along with freedom of speech, are increasingly in jeopardy.

Xenophobia in Mandiba’s Land: Too Black…Or Just Too Poor?

South Africa, the home land of the late giant fighter against Apartheid, racism and discrimination – Nelson Mandela “Mandiba”, is already ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’ against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers - and even citizens perceived as outsiders.

A Treasonous President and a Nation in Peril

I am at a loss for words to express my horror as I watched the first segment of the public hearing of the Congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. As long as the Republican Party denies what happened that infamous day and Trump remains free, this country faces unprecedented peril.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Thirty years ago, the Earth Summit, which took place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, paved the way for the establishment of three major conventions on the environment - specifically on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

Elections: a Global Ranking Rates US Weakest Among Liberal Democracies

Defending democracy has suddenly become one of the central challenges of our age. The land war in Ukraine is widely considered a front line between autocratic rule and democratic freedom. The United States continues to absorb the meaning of the riot that took place on January 6 2021 in an attempt to overthrow the result of the previous year’s election. Elsewhere, concerns have been raised that the pandemic could have provided cover for governments to postpone elections.

Zimbabwe’s Press Freedom, One Step Forward, Three Steps Backward

For international journalist Jeffery Moyo, doing his job could land him in prison if Zimbabwe authorities have their way. “Journalism is a crime in Zimbabwe, and the regime is reactive to independent journalism,” says Moyo, an international correspondent for the New York Times and the Inter Press Service (IPS).[related_articles]

Democracy Loses Its Glow for South Africans Amid Persistent Inequality

South Africans believed that the introduction of democracy in 1994 would transform their lives for the better through equality of opportunities. This hasn’t happened.

Women Politicians in Peru Face Severe Harassment, Discrimination

Women entering the political arena in Peru face multiple obstacles due to gender discrimination that hinders their equal participation, which can even reach the extreme of political harassment and bullying, in an attempt to force them out of the public sphere.

Criminality in Politics Does Not Bode Well for Democracy’s Future

A trend of declining trust in governments and politicians can turn into a threat beyond some point. John Adams, an astute political philosopher and second president of the US, was emphatic: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself." This has been a subject of intense debate, with recent but mixed evidence. Is this an overly pessimistic view?

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