Political change is happening all the time in China, though the government is not leading the charge. Rather, the Chinese people are advancing political change through advocacy by nongovernmental organizations, communication via the Internet, and political protest.
The UN General Assembly approved, by a vote of 107-12 with 59 abstentions, the resolution on May 15, 2013, which supports political transition in Syria through the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition.
Jose Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin professor of international law at New York University School of Law, discusses the growth and distributional effects and the human rights implications of global economic governance through bilateral investment treaties, with a focus on the global south.
Isobel Coleman hosts Joshua Kurlantzick, Fellow for Southeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, for a discussion about the political and economic transition of Thailand and Indonesia as part of a Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative series on Realizing Democracy: Lessons from Transitioning Countries.
Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.
In light of recent reports of chemical weapons being used against Syrian civilians, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon highlights frustrations felt by some State Department employees at the lack of response from the White House.
Isobel Coleman hosts John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, for a discussion about the political and economic transitions of South Africa and Nigeria as part of a Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative series on Realizing Democracy: Lessons from Transitioning Countries.
The Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolívar has a remarkably elastic legacy. Ever since his death in 1830, Latin American politicians across the political spectrum have claimed to be his rightful heir. What Bolívar left behind, it turns out, was less a coherent set of ideas than an abstract vision of Latin American unity -- a vision that remains impossible today.
Calls for more popular participation are not essential to populism; rather, they are a symptom of perceived exclusion (which might well be a reality, especially in Latin America). But cries for political inclusion are different from demands for direct democracy. Where direct democracy is very much a part of normal politics – in Switzerland, for example – populist parties have been doing better, not worse, than elsewhere.
For more on what the United States and others can do to foster open, prosperous, and stable societies, visit CSM&D.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.