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  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: This year’s Democracy Report shows that the trend of a third wave autocratization – the decline of democratic regime traits – continues and now affects 24 countries. When we weight levels of democracy by population size – because democracy is rule by the people and it matters how many of them are concerned – it emerges that almost one third of the world’s population live in countries undergoing autocratization. Yet democracy still prevails in a majority of countries in the world (99 countries, 55 percent). This section analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2018 and developments since 1972, with an emphasis on the last 10 years. Our analysis builds on the 2019 release of the V-Dem dataset.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Developing World, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Brazil
  • Author: Paul Bagabo, Onesmus Mugyenyi, Siragi Magara, Paul Twebaze
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This publication draws from the literature on contract transparency as well as interviews with key experts in Uganda's extractives sector. It concludes that while legal frameworks on transparency and disclosure provisions exist, they have not been effective in ensuring that citizens gain access to information on the details of the contracts; and the level of contract transparency and disclosure in the oil and gas sector is higher than in the mining sector. While information on mining licenses is provided on the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development website and the mining cadastre is publicly available, vital information on actual deposits and revenue sharing is not publicly available. Uganda is party to several transparency initiatives and publicly committed to joining the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Despite the membership to these initiatives, the level of transparency and disclosure of extractives contracts is still low. In order to ensure that contract transparency contributes to increased accountability in the sector, this publication makes several recommendations.
  • Topic: Oil, Natural Resources, Democracy, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Daniel Gover, Michael Kenny
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London
  • Abstract: Recent political developments have focused attention on the ‘English Question’. In response to the 2014 Scottish referendum result, the UK government initiated a procedural reform in the House of Commons known as ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (EVEL), which was formally adopted in October 2015. This report results from an in-depth academic research project into EVEL. It evaluates how the procedures fared during their first year in operation, and weighs arguments for and against such a reform. Based on this analysis, it makes a series of constructive proposals to improve the current system.
  • Topic: Politics, Law, Elections, Democracy, Identities, Voting
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Secular political parties in Egypt have always been caught between an overbearing state and a largely Islamist opposition. The brief, chaotic political opening from 2011 to 2013 offered them unprecedented opportunities, but the violence and intense polarization that followed the military coup have put them under more pressure than ever. Formal politics in Egypt is now a tightly controlled game in which no real independence is allowed, but some secular parties might reemerge as contenders should there be another opportunity for free competition.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ofra Bengio
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The Kurds challenge the self-perceptions of the nation-states in which they reside: Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq; and they have played a crucial role in combatting Islamic State. This study analyzes the rivalry and interdependence among the four parts of Kurdistan as well as the dynamics of their relations with regional countries and the international community. With the entire region in a state of flux, will the Kurds fulfill their dream for a state or autonomous existence of their own?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Self Determination, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Belhassen Ennouri
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The field of democratization studies is interested by the transformation of political systems from authoritarian regimes to another type of political system that cannot be pre-determined. This study has emerged in the context the so-called third wave of democratization that began with the Spanish and Portuguese experiences in the 1970s, and then spread to Latin America in the 1980s, sweeping Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Indeed, the success of the Spanish experience in democratization has rendered the case a useful model for studying other cases. The study of the democratic transition – itself an experimental process – has moved from investigating historical experiences to developing a theoretical framework that involves a procedural and practical approach to understanding the instability and volatility of the phenomenon. The study of the democratic transition has been criticized, despite important contributions on the part of researchers. To this point, the notion of a “theory of transition” is at the heart of critical scientific debate.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia