Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Democracy

Taking stock of democracy

Taking stock of democracy

The struggle to establish and maintain stable democracies continues the world over. As I have said many times before, no one ever said democracy is easy or simple, but it provides the best opportunities for freedom and prosperity (also see Churchill’s view of democracy in my “about the author” script). But as of now, how […]

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Turning the Tide: Three Years Later Tunisia Is Still the Forerunner of the Arab Spring

Turning the Tide: Three Years Later Tunisia Is Still the Forerunner of the Arab Spring

On January 9, Ali Larayedh dutifully resigned as the Prime Minister of Tunisia, fulfilling his promise to end the political deadlock in Tunisia following the crises that ensued as a result of the assassination of secular politician, Mohamed Brahmi in July 2013. Although strikes and protests have plagued the country since 2011, the transition to […]

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Democracy in Hong Kong: A Key Asia-Pacific Issue for 2014

Democracy in Hong Kong: A Key Asia-Pacific Issue for 2014

2014 began in Hong Kong with a New Year’s Day march for democracy that drew thousands into the streets in protest against Beijing’s efforts to limit democratic rights in the former British colony. Unless demands are met for universal suffrage and open nomination rights in Hong Kong elections, July 2014 is likely to see the […]

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Where the ‘Ikhwan’ goes, so shall Egypt

Where the ‘Ikhwan’ goes, so shall Egypt

There are many—both in the East and the West—who have been confidently betting on the overt plan to marginalize, and, in due course, eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) as a sociopolitical movement. In light of the on-going vicious Ikhwanophobia and emboldened brutality of the coup regime, it is hard to counter such contemptuous optimism. But, […]

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Tear Down This Firewall: Challenging Internet Censorship in China

Tear Down This Firewall: Challenging Internet Censorship in China

Chinese government censorship is a core concern for democracy promotion efforts in China. All media in China, including newspapers, television, and the internet, are strictly controlled by the Chinese government for the very purpose of preventing democracy promotion. There may be little that democracy advocates can do to challenge the government’s control over traditional domestic […]

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African youth perceptions of the U.S.

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

  Being an American professor living in Africa and teaching international relations, I have been involved in numerous debates about my country and its foreign policy. Obviously you get your mix, some pro-U.S. and some not. To try and make better sense of the situation, I decided to embark on a little pet project in […]

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Whither Bulgaria?

Whither Bulgaria?

For nearly four months now Bulgaria’s major cities have witnessed the country’s largest protests in over 16 years. Calling for greater transparency, less corruption, a robust campaign against organized crime, and the resignation of the entire government, protestors have gathered by the thousands, taking to the streets daily to voice their outrage with a dysfunctional […]

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The Politics of Political Islam

The Politics of Political Islam

I don’t know who deserves the attribution as far as the coining is concerned, I only know—like the terms Islamism, sharia, and jihad — so-called political Islam is a loaded term that stirs storms of controversy. Despite that baggage, it is the prevalent concept that defines all political parties and movements with Islamic references. This […]

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Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

In late July, following 28 years of authoritarian rule in Cambodia by the Prime Minister Hun Sen, citizens of the impoverished southeastern Asian state went to the polls for elections. What followed was a shocking setback: Mr. Sen’s ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) saw its number of seats in the 123-seat parliament reduced from 90 […]

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Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on Wednesday to participate in an election that will be closely monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, mostly from around Africa. One country that will be watching despite Western observer missions not being invited is the United States of America. Relations between Washington and Harare are definitely nowhere near the […]

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Morsi Ouster: Is There a Backstory?

Morsi Ouster: Is There a Backstory?

  There usually is. The Egyptian military, mirroring, it says, the will of the Egyptian people, has thrown Morsi’s band of Islamists out of office and set in motion the kind of parliamentary and electoral process that millions of neighboring Syrians want to see materialize in their own country. Instead, the Syrian people remain trapped […]

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Egypt after the Coup

Egypt after the Coup

Recent events in Egypt have been tumultuous, to say the least. The country’s first elected president in history was deposed by the military three days after his first anniversary in office. The International Crisis Group’s description of current Egyptian politics gives the impression of a grand competition in short-sightedness. What happens next will depend on […]

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Euphoria Eclipses Nightmare in Egypt

Euphoria Eclipses Nightmare in Egypt

Today, Egypt is a dangerously polarized nation that is on the brink of a civil war. And, that worst case scenario could have broad implications far beyond that country and the Middle East. Since the military coup d’etat, the situation in Egypt has been rapidly escalating into a dangerous political dichotomy- all against the Muslim […]

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Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

What began as a peaceful sit-in to save a downtown park in Istanbul has erupted into a conflict between the forces of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government and liberal reformers. On Monday, June 17, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinic announced Turkey “will resort to calling on the military to contain these protests.” If one […]

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Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

  As Barack Obama is about to embark on his historic tour of Africa, many South Africans are asking why it should matter to them. There are numerous reasons why a visit from the President of the United States is an historic occasion. First, the U.S. helps save South African lives. Since 2004, Washington has […]

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