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This Week at ISN 2013-12-06

This Week at ISN 2013-12-06

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Published by ISN Zurich
One of the consequences of the global financial crisis is that in some quarters democracy has been put on trial. But are the scattered calls for an authoritarian revival credible or not, especially in the European Union? Or is the rise in anti-democratic sentiment really an example of political systems such as China and Bahrain being able to offer viable alternatives to democracy? The jury may still be out on these questions and, indeed, on the actual health of democratic forms of representation throughout the world.
One of the consequences of the global financial crisis is that in some quarters democracy has been put on trial. But are the scattered calls for an authoritarian revival credible or not, especially in the European Union? Or is the rise in anti-democratic sentiment really an example of political systems such as China and Bahrain being able to offer viable alternatives to democracy? The jury may still be out on these questions and, indeed, on the actual health of democratic forms of representation throughout the world.

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Published by: ISN Zurich on Dec 06, 2013
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ETH ZurichInternational Relations and Security Network www.isn.ethz.ch
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This Week at ISNOur Weekly Editorial Roundup
02 – 06 December 2013JUMP TO
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Democracy under Pressure – Authoritarianism to the Rescue?
One of the consequences of the global financial crisis is that in some quarters democracy has been put on trial. But are thescattered calls for an authoritarian revival credible or not, especially in the European Union? Or is the rise in anti-democratic sentiment really an example of political systems such as China and Bahrain being able to offer viablealternatives to democracy? The jury may still be out on these questions and, indeed, on the actual health of democratic
 
forms of representation throughout the world.
02 December 2013
Democracy is in a profound state of crisis, writes Joshua Kurlantzick, and is in retreat in many parts of the world. Today, heoutlines the security implications of this worrying trend, which could include the proliferation and return of authoritarian
 
governments. » More
03 December 2013
The rise of Golden Dawn has only complicated Greece's efforts to pull itself back from a social and economic meltdown.Worse still, writes Vassilis Fouskas, Athens' hardheaded response to the far right movement has resulted in the
 
strengthening of the authoritarian arm of the Greek state. » More
04 December 2013
 As a form of government, is China's authoritarian capitalism more stable and predictable than democracy? That's adubious question, say Mark Harrison and Debin Ma. Beijing's current political system has thrived in exceptional
 
circumstances and can't be instantly duplicated elsewhere. » More
 
05 December 2013
Bahrain's violent repression of its people confirms that authoritarian regimes are more than capable of dealing with politicalunrest. But don't be fooled, says Quinn Mecham. The Kingdom's tenuous 'ruling bargain' has been rocked like never 
 
before. » More
06 December 2013
Is democracy losing ground to more authoritarian forms of government? Not according to Jørgen Møller and Svend-ErikSkaaning. Their empirical and statistical analysis suggests that democracy is stagnating rather than deteriorating. You
 
can, by the way, thank the global financial crisis for that. » More
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Security Watch
02 December 2013
Thousands of Rohingyas have escaped persecution in Myanmar by crossing the border into Bangladesh. What many findwhen they get there, however, is harsh government-driven treatment that strictly limits humanitarian assistance to a
 
chosen few, or so writes IRIN. » More
03 December 2013
Recent military exercises have only served to reinforce the importance that Russia places on its military ties with Belarus. According to Tony Rinna, Moscow's reasons are straightforward enough. It sees the former Soviet republic as the staging
 
point for offensive and counteroffensive measures against Eastern Europe.
 
 
04 December 2013
It's called the 'Asian Paradox' – as economic interdependence rises in the region, the number of conflicts hasn't gonedown. So, will Park Geun-hye's Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative help set things right? It's a start, says,
 
Sook-Jong Lee, but it's unclear just how Seoul plans to achieve its objectives. » More
05 December 2013
Can the counter-piracy strategies employed off the coast of Somalia be applied in the Gulf of Guinea? Not according toMark Naftalin. Today, he outlines how piracy in West Africa is quantitatively and qualitatively different from what is
 
occurring on the other side of the continent. » More
06 December 2013
Konrad Poplawski thinks that Berlin will resist international pressures to reduce its current account surplus. That's bad
 
news for the rest of the Eurozone, he continues – without the cuts, its most economically unstable countries will not be
 
able to recover quickly. » More
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Blog
02 December 2013
Syria's opposition groups are working together to develop administrative functions in Aleppo and the other urban areas
 
they control, right? Not so, say A. Backzo, G. Dorronsoro and A. Quesnay. Fierce competition between rival factions is
 
undermining the work of these already-fragile civil administrations. » More
03 December 2013
Nigeria claims that it has withdrawn its troops from Mali in order to deal with its security problems at home. According toMouhamadou Kane, there's another reason behind Abuja's decision – it can't chase after international prestige and cope
 
with local insurgencies at the same time. » More
04 December 2013
What form of political organization is best suited to deal with globalization's problems? Stephen Paul Haigh's "FutureStates" argues that in our 'neo-medieval age' a cosmopolitan state will work best. Rhys Crilley is impressed but wonders
 
where the postcolonial perspectives are in Haigh's analysis. » More
05 December 2013
Indeed, why are drug policies changing? According to Mike Trace, because there's a growing recognition that the old onesdon't work. And why has this policy shift been so slow? Because there's been an absence of international consensus on
 
how to tackle drug-related problems most effectively. » More
06 December 2013
 After it helped depose Colonel Gaddaffi, did NATO depart Libya too quickly? Bitter Libyans may think so, but Liesel Louw-Vaudran disagrees. In her view, they need to move on – it's the only way the nascent Libyan state will manage to restore
 
much-needed security and stability. » More
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Video
In this video, Kurt Weyland discusses his article "Latin America's Authoritarian Drift," which focuses on the recent strong arm tendencies of Latin American politics. The latter includes the weakening of governmental checks and balances, the marginalizing of political oppositions, and other disturbing trends. » More

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