Democracy in crisis
The liberal democratic order has been losing its appeal for years as politics has come to depend more on loyalty to a leader than adherence to ideology. As opposing sides coalesce around increasing the power of the state, they focus on attacking personalities rather than policies. This has led to polarization, a loss of democratic ideals and the rise of populism.
Americans vote for change, and for stability
American voters have made their choice, and the message they sent was a strong one. But the anti-Trump reaction has been unfair and exaggerated. Now, rather than try to marginalize Mr. Trump, the international community should find ways to cooperate with the new leader of the world’s most powerful nation.
In defense of referenda
Many have been shocked by the outcomes of referenda in the UK, Colombia and Hungary. Some critics now question direct democracy, and whether the people can be trusted with making decisions on major issues. They are forgetting that citizens, not governments, should initiate such votes. When they do, the results are usually very sensible.
The West’s leadership crisis as a Russian trauma
Russians are not gleeful about the leadership vacuum in the West. There is a sense that the failure of Pax Americana has left them bereft and vulnerable. Faced with a decaying imperial center, peripheral states such as Russia or Turkey have had to assemble their own, “surrogate” order from the debris.
Democracy and populists: a misconception
It is hard to escape from warnings that liberal democracy is under siege by authoritarian populists. At face value, this assessment seems correct. But a closer examination suggests that the established parties in Western democracies have also become enemies of freedom and personal responsibility.
Iraq: between democracy and failed state
Iraqi democracy has been more or less written off by the West. Combating its political gridlock, sectarianism and corruption will be harder than defeating Daesh. The best way Baghdad can start solving these problems is to strike a deal to retake Mosul.
Democracy by fear
To the European political establishment’s great relief, Norbert Hofer barely lost the Austrian presidential election. However, most of the people who voted for the winner, Dr. Alexander van der Bellen, were likely motivated by the campaign of fear against Mr. Hofer. The trend of “democracy by fear” in Europe reveals some troubling truths about the continent’s political establishment.
Kim making a monkey out of China in the Year of the Monkey
The Chinese government must have expected that its trouble-bag of an ally, North Korea’s strongman Kim Jong-un, would pull some attention-grabbing stunt on the occasion of the Chinese and Korean New Year, which started on February 8 this year. Perhaps that was the reason why Wu Dawei, the Chinese foreign ministry special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs,...