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.
Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, which advises heads of state and governments worldwide; Author, The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World and The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, Council on Foreign Relations
In his new book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Daron Acemoglu looks at why some nations prosper and why some fail. He concludes that it depends on whether institutions are pluralistic and inclusive or extractive and autocratic.
Ma Sang-yoon of the Catholic University of Korea discusses the April 11 Republic of Korea national assembly elections, explains their relationship to the December South Korean presidential elections, and highlights issues relevant to the future of U.S.-ROK relations.
Registration is now closed for Egypt's upcoming presidential election. CFR's Steven A. Cook discusses major contenders, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater and last-minute entrant Omar Suleiman, Hosni Mubarak's one-time spy chief.
Joshua Kurlantzick and Elizabeth Leader discuss how the newest threats to expression and access on the Internet are not coming from authoritarian states, but instead from somewhere more surprising: electoral democracies like Thailand, Turkey, and South Korea.
Addressing Egypt's economically debilitating subsidy system will be hard amid political transition, but with the country's social contract under review, the time is ripe for reform needed to put the country on a more viable economic path, says CFR's Isobel Coleman.
A deadline for cease-fire in Syria is set, but the international community remains divided on ways forward. CFR's Ed Husain says many questions remain about opposition unity, leadership transition, and whether it will be possible to keep the peace.
The elections brought democratic forces into parliament for the first time in fifty years. But Myanmar's rapid reforms still must be viewed as small steps in a country where military forces retain considerable power, writes CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick.
Isobel Coleman, Ed Husain, and Michael Willis discuss the relationship between Islam and politics following the Arab uprisings, including how Islam affects women's and minority rights, democracy, and secularism.
This session was part of a CFR symposium, Implications of the Arab Uprisings, which was made possible by the generous support of Rita E. Hauser, and organized in cooperation with University of Oxford's St. Antony's College.
Ed Husain says former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan deserves applause for brokering a ceasefire in a conflict where others have failed, but the conflict in Syria is far from over, and this is only a new beginning.
Speakers: George Clooney, John Prendergast, Andudu Adam Elnail, and Omer Ismail Presider: Ann Curry
Following their return from South Sudan with the Enough Project, George Clooney and John Prendergast assess the in-country situation in the year since southern Sudan's independence referendum, with Andudu Adam Elnail, Anglican bishop of Kadugli, Sudan, and Omer Ismail, Darfur activist and senior adviser at the Enough Project.
Vladimir Putin's reelection as president raises concerns over domestic reforms and relations with Washington. Russia's future will be determined by Putin's handling of opponents and whether opposition forces can build a viable political force, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.