Journal of International Affairs

Foreign affairs periodical focuses on policy analysis, including state building and peace operations.

Articles from Vol. 65, No. 1, Fall-Winter

After 1989: Redefining "Democracy": An Interview with Ivan Krastev
Ivan Krastev is a Bulgarian political scientist and a leading scholar on authoritarianism. In a conversation with the Journal's Rebecca Chao, Mr. Krastev challenged the assumptions that underpin popular theories of authoritarianism and discussed how...
Alastair Smith: Dictators' Race to the Bottom
The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011), 352 pages. In their new book, The Dictator's Handbook, New York University professors Bruce Bueno...
Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela
DRAGON IN THE TROPICS: HUGO CHAVEZ AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF REVOLUTION IN VENEZUELA Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2011), 195 pages. Dragon in the Tropics by Javier Corrales, professor...
Interventions against a Dictator
The Arab Spring, a wave of revolutions in nondemocratic countries in North Africa and the Middle East, forced some dictators to flee from their countries while others stayed and one faced intervention by an international coalition. Using a stylized...
Iran's Regime of Religion
Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Islamic Republic has modernized and bureaucratized the clerical establishment, redefined religion and created institutions to enforce this new definition. The effect has been a transformation of religion into...
Islam and Technology: Evolution and Revolution
The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam Philip N. Howard (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 304 pages. In the heady days of the Arab Spring, as news came across the wire that longtime...
More State Than Nation: Lukashenko's Belarus
Belarus, a post-Soviet country ruled by Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, is a case of a contemporary regime that reverted to authoritarianism after a brief stint as an independent democracy. While some of the characteristics of the Belarusian system...
Myanmar's Fifty-Year Authoritarian Trap
Myanmar has been under military rule in various guises for nearly fifty years. The most durable and unyielding of the authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia, Myanmar's military rulers have expertly exploited circumstances and methods that prolong...
New Media Entrepreneurs in China: Allies of the Party-State or Civil Society?
Today more than 500 million Chinese Internet users roam social networking websites. Of them, as many as 300 million are part of a rapidly growing microblogosphere. This article examines the predicament of companies providing social networking services...
North Korea's State-Loyalty Advantage
Although North Korea's northern border remains easy to cross, and North Koreans are now well aware of the prosperity enjoyed south of the demilitarized zone, Kim Long Il continues to rule over a stable and supportive population. Kim enjoys mass support...
Perpetuating Communist Party Rule in China
On the heels of democratic uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), recent "mass incidents" (qunti shijian) in China have spurred renewed debate about the level of social dissatisfaction and the stability of authoritarian governance in...
Sovereign Wealth Funds in Nondemocratic Countries: Financing Entrenchment or Change?
The rising prominence of sovereign wealth funds--investment funds that are owned or controlled by national governments--has stirred debate about their potential use as tools to pursue global political interests rather than economic or financial ends....
State Institutions and the Survival of Dictatorships
Nominally democratic institutions such as political parties and legislatures are common in dictatorships, which rely on them to maintain control of the state. Parties and legislatures provide a means through which dictatorships co-opt potential opponents,...
State Power and Staying Power: Infrastructural Mechanisms and Authoritarian Durability
The contemporary literature on authoritarian durability focuses more on democratic-looking institutions such as parties, elections and parliaments than the institution in which authoritarian regimes are most importantly embedded: the state itself....
Survival, Adaptation and Uncertainty: The Case of Cuba
The Cuban Revolution recently experienced a major transition of leadership as power shifted hands from Fidel Castro to his younger brother, Raul. Eschewing the role of caretaker, Raul embarked on an ambitious program aiming to streamline a cumbersome...
The Art of Censorship in Vietnam
Vietnam now participates in a capitalist market and keeps its borders open, but it still imposes a dated yet effective communist matrix of control over the country's media outlets. This article examines the effectiveness of this system of control with...
The Illusion of Stability in China an Interview with Wei Jingsheng
On 5 December 1978, Wei Jingsheng, an electrician at the Beijing Zoo, posted an essay to a brick wall on Xidan Street called "The Fifth Modernization," which stated: "Democracy is our only choice.... If we want to modernize our economy, sciences,...
The Road out of Tahrir: An Interview with Mohamed ElBaradei
After an eighteen-day revolution that ended Hosni Mubarak's thirty-year reign, Egypt must direct the unifying energy of the Tahrir Square protests toward democratization. The military council now in charge of the government has vowed to oversee the...
Zimbabwe's Militarized, Electoral Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism in Zimbabwe survives because a coalition of political and military elites stands ready and willing to employ violence to execute the Machiavellian vision of President Robert Mugabe and perpetuate his control of the state. Several variables...
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