Democracy Publications

US Immigration Policy Since 9/11: Understanding the Stalemate over Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Aug 01, 2011
This report reviews the recent history of US immigration legislation, including new enforcement mandates passed immediately after 9/11 and unsuccessful efforts to pass CIR bills during the 109th and 110th Congresses. This history, together with asymmetries in the political process that favor enforcement-oriented responses, stack the deck against legalization and visa reform. Any possibility of success was further hurt by the timing of the reform debate with respect to the national electoral calendar in 2006-07 and the economic downturn beginning in 2008. more

Women, Muslim Laws and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Keynote Address

Jul 19, 2011
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration? more

Election Observation Missions: Making them Count

Jul 19, 2011
International election observation is a work in progress, much like the international democratic system it aims to promote and develop. Today election observation is disproportionately focused on the pre-election and election periods at the expense of the post-election period. International organizations, national governments, and civil society are familiar with what is expected both before and during an election. Election “practices” exist and an international set of principles is now emerging to guide international elections observers both before and during elections. more

The ANC and Post-Apartheid South Africa Quo Vadis: One Hundred Years Going on Twenty

Jul 15, 2011
The advent of democracy in 1994 came with the promise of a society whose race, political, economic and social relations would be the antithesis of what they had been under apartheid. The post-apartheid order would deliver what the ANC calls “a better life for all.” What has happened since the ANC came to power can best be summarized in three ways: First, there has been some improvement in the political, social and economic conditions of the majority. Second, democratic, policy and delivery deficits have emerged. more

A Challenge: The Arab Spring in North Africa and its Ramification on the Continent

Jul 12, 2011
After the demise of the Soviet Bloc and the democratic transitions of Eastern Europe which witnessed very dramatic changes in internal and external polices of those countries, many thought that this would be the model for the Arab world to emulate. However, it was generally thought that it would be a decade before the Arab world was ready for such a transition. Accelerating the pace of democratization it was believed, would pave the way for extremist religious parties to assume power, leading to a radical shift in the foreign policy orientation of key Arab states. more

Making Peace After Genocide

Jul 12, 2011
It is a small country, no larger than the state of Maryland, with a population numbering just over 8 million. The dimensions of the human tragedy that has played itself out in Burundi since the country’s independence in 1960, however, are anything but diminutive: an estimated 400,000 killed, some 800,000 forced to flee the country, and many tens of thousands internally displaced. The human catastrophe that is Burundi is dwarfed in Africa only by its neighbor, Rwanda, which in 1994 saw close to 1 million of its population systematically murdered. This report examines the efforts that regional states and other international actors undertook to end the Burundian cycle of violence. more

Pilfering the Peace: The Nexus Between Corruption and Peacebuilding

Jul 12, 2011
How might the best practices of peacebuilding be applied to anti-corruption? Based on interviews with trainers and staff of the Burundi Leadership Training Programme (BLTP) of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, this article explores possible answers to that question in light of a successful peacebuilding effort. The author also flags ideas for future projects and research at the nexus of the two fields.  more

Central America Trip Report

Security and Trade in Central America

Jul 07, 2011
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars sponsored a congressional study trip to El Salvador and Guatemala from April 13 through April 18, 2009. It was organized by the Wilson Center on the Hill Program and the Latin American Program at the Wilson Center. The trip focused on two issues that are critical for the United States’ relationships with countries across Central America – security and economic development. more

303. Lessons Learned: from Nationalism to State Building after Communism

Jul 07, 2011
September 2004 - The latest challenges to a world order based on liberalism seem to render the Communist and post-Communist experiences obsolete. Some believe that Communism was so exceptional that, at the end of day, its lessons can teach us little. But I disagree. An enormous wealth of experience can be gained from the communist experiment, its rise, its reign and its fall. Perhaps the most important one is in the field of state and nation building, since no regime before communism had both the drive and the coercive power to impose institutions upon people that were so far from the organic development of both the state and the nation. Although the initial conditions for transformation vary greatly, some clear lessons do emerge out of a comparison between the successful and unsuccessful state-building projects in postcommunist Europe. more

149. Why Some Succeed and Others Fail: Eight Years of Transition In Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
January 1998 - The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.