Markets and Democracy in the 21st Century

Markets and Democracy in the 21st Century is a major research area of CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative. Many viewed the end of the Cold War as the triumph of the Western model of liberal capitalist democracy. Today, however, that is no longer clear. China’s rise has produced an alternative system of "authoritarian capitalism;" attempts to build enduring democratic institutions in Iraq and Afghanistan have faced deep challenges; and the economic crisis of recent years has rattled faith in open markets. The Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy initiative is examining issues surrounding economic and political openness and reform—and the United States’ efforts to promote these goals—in the context of current debates.

Please see below for relevant publications.

Human Rights in Iran

Human Rights in Iran

Authors: Jayshree Bajoria and Robert McMahon

Global monitors say Iran's human rights situation is poor and unlikely to improve amid a climate of political uncertainty and growing external pressures. But activists urge continued international scrutiny of Iran's violations.

See more in Iran; Human Rights

The Right Way Out of Afghanistan

Authors: Stephen Hadley and John D. Podesta

As the United States prepares to exit Afghanistan, it is focusing too much on security, overlooking the political elements of the transition, write two former senior U.S. officials.

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building

Reading Putin

Author: Joshua Yaffa

With Vladimir Putin back in power in Russia, understanding him is more important than ever. Two recent books attempt to unravel the mystery, adding new insight into the Russian leader's life and rule.

See more in Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Is Iraq on Track?

Authors: Antony Blinken, Norman Ricklefs, and Ned Parker

Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.

See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law