The Democracy Report
The Atlantic's coverage of social and political change in North Africa, in the Middle East, and around the world

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Introduction

A wave of democratization reshaped the world not so long ago. Could it happen again now?

Danger: Falling Tyrants

As dictatorships crumble across the Middle East, how do we promote American values while protecting American interests?

Arab Spring, Chinese Winter

Just after the streets of Tunisia and Egypt erupted, China saw a series of “Jasmine” protests — until the government stopped them cold. Was the regime’s defensive reaction just paranoia? Or is the Chinese public less satisfied — and more combustible — than it appears?

From The Archives

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Islam

Can democracy take root in a predominantly Islamic part of the world? How Atlantic writers thought about the question throughout the 20th century.

Islam and Liberal Democracy

A renowned scholar of Near Eastern studies, took on the question of Islam's suitability for democratic rule

Was Democracy Just a Moment?

The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world—or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom.

What Kind of Democracy?

At a time when countries in Eastern Europe and elsewhere were demanding the right to self-determination, Raymond D. Gastil assessed the extent to which civil liberties within a democracy require protection within a democracy

China Emergent

In the midst of World War II, the wife of China's Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-shek, decried the exploitation of China by the West and delineated a vision for a more democratic future

A Plea for the Recognition of the Chinese Republic

This Chinese author proudly declared "we have transformed our immense country from an empire of four thousand years' standing into a modern democracy" asking that the United States lend its support to the fledgling government through official recognition

Reuters

Does the U.S. Really Have the Power to Promote Democracy in Egypt?

It's time we revisit our assumptions about America's ability to influence the country's politics. | Steven A. Cook


Indian Democracy Runs on Briefcase-Sized Voting Machines

Indian Democracy Runs on Briefcase-Sized Voting Machines

They're portable, economical, and helping more than 800 million Indians cast ballots in this year's election.

7 Million Afghans Just Dealt a Blow to the Taliban

7 Million Afghans Just Dealt a Blow to the Taliban

The country's election was full of surprises. Will the euphoria last?

The Newfound Political Power of Afghan Youth

The Newfound Political Power of Afghan Youth

The country's historic election is a contest not just of candidates but of generations.

The Chocolate King Who Could Be Ukraine's Next President

The Chocolate King Who Could Be Ukraine's Next President

Can the shadowy Petro Poroshenko pull off an upset win against Yulia Tymoshenko?

Was Mohammed Morsi Really an Autocrat?

Was Mohammed Morsi Really an Autocrat?

Egypt's receding democracy, by the numbers

The View From Kiev: Coping With Ukraine's Unfinished Revolution

The View From Kiev: Coping With Ukraine's Unfinished Revolution

"There is no victory," a psychologist working with protesters says, "only a potential victory."

The (Fake) Conspiracy to Overthrow the World's Autocrats

The (Fake) Conspiracy to Overthrow the World's Autocrats

For leaders like Putin, the true threat comes from the forces fighting for democracy in their countries.

The Afghan Election Gets Its Own Hip-Hop Anthem

The Afghan Election Gets Its Own Hip-Hop Anthem

Seventy percent of the country's population is under 25. Can rap make them interested in politics?

Highly Educated Countries Have Better Governments

Highly Educated Countries Have Better Governments

Why? Citizens complain more, forcing officials to be more accountable.

The Betrayal of Tahrir Square

The Betrayal of Tahrir Square

An Oscar-nominated film about the Egyptian revolution is banned in Egypt. That says a lot.

The Battle for Benghazi

The Battle for Benghazi

Special forces versus Islamists—and the struggle for control of Libya’s army

And the Nominees for Best Human-Rights Work ...

And the Nominees for Best Human-Rights Work ...

The celebrities who have advanced—and harmed—the cause of freedom around the world

Was Bush Really a Champion of Democracy?

Was Bush Really a Champion of Democracy?

The father of the "freedom agenda" might have reacted to Ukraine's revolution in the same way Obama has.

The Tragedy of Venezuela

The Tragedy of Venezuela

The country is now the world's capital of inflation, homicide, and scarcity—but half the population is no longer willing to tolerate it.

Ukraine's Government Disappears Overnight

Ukraine's Government Disappears Overnight

The opposition now controls Kiev, but the fight for Ukraine's future is far from over.

The Art Inspired by Ukraine's Euromaidan

The Art Inspired by Ukraine's Euromaidan

When Kiev's Independence Square becomes a studio.

A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design

A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design

Ukraine's Independence Square, and the revolutionary dimensions of public spaces.

How Ukraine's Crisis Went From Compromise to Carnage Overnight

How Ukraine's Crisis Went From Compromise to Carnage Overnight

Making sense of the bloodshed in the deeply divided country.

Is It Time for Ukraine to Split Up?

Is It Time for Ukraine to Split Up?

One expert thinks the country would be better off if it were partitioned.

Why Venezuela's Revolution Will Be Tweeted

Why Venezuela's Revolution Will Be Tweeted

The country's street protests are playing out dramatically on the social network.

Ukraine's Unrest Is Being Broadcast Live

Ukraine's Unrest Is Being Broadcast Live

The country has suffered its worst day of violence in the three-month-old uprising.

The Biggest Story in Photos

South Korea Ferry Sinks, Hundreds Missing

Why We Tend to Show Our Left Side in Pictures
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Why successful women lack self-assurance—and men have too much, the end of desegregation, the odd life of a retired pope, the case for secrecy, the annual money report, and more

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