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  • Author: Marc F. Plattner
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: With the longstanding dominance of center-left and center-right parties ebbing across Europe and Latin America, there is a growing danger that substantial segments of the right will be captured by tendencies indifferent or even hostile to liberal democracy. The 2019 elections to the European Parliament will provide a key test. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has transformed the debate by openly promoting the concept of “illiberal democracy.” Orbán seeks to equate liberal democracy as such with a set of policy positions supported by forces on the left, thereby prying conservatives away from their fundamental commitment to liberal democracy. This rising challenge has manifested itself in a struggle for control of the European Union’s center-right bloc, the European People’s Party, as well as in the recent writings of several political theorists identified with the conservative side of the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Liberal Order, Conservatism, Illiberal Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, Latin America, Central Europe
  • Author: Kenneth F. Greene, Mariano Sanchez-Talanquer
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: On 1 July 2018, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won a decisive victory in Mexico’s presidential election, while a coalition led by AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) claimed majorities in both houses of Congress. AMLO’s calls for change resonated with voters frustrated by chronic poverty and inequality, rising violence, and corruption, and his win has called into question the stability of Mexico’s party system. Yet AMLO, who strove to assemble a “big tent” coalition, is ultimately more a product of the system than a disruptive outsider. Moreover, clear programmatic differences among Mexico’s major parties persist, as do the institutional advantages they enjoy. It is thus most probable that MORENA’s ascent augurs a recomposition of the party system rather than a process of partisan dealignment.
  • Topic: Poverty, Elections, Democracy, Inequality, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Henry E. Hale
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: A quarter century after the USSR’s breakup, the region it occupied has become more rather than less authoritarian on average. The rise has been neither steep nor steady, however, and the dominant regional pattern has been regime cycling, with movement both toward and away from authoritarianism at different points in time. Key causes are the tenacious pre-Soviet legacy of patronalism, the prevalence of presidentialist constitutions, and strong leadership popularity without the strong Western linkage and leverage that has often mitigated similar authoritarian tendencies in places like Africa and Latin America.
  • Topic: Power Politics, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Latin America