The turmoil unfolding in Ukraine actually provides the people of Ukraine with an opportunity to make their country a better place. Historically, any one of three conditions — a new, transitional government; dire economic challenges; and the threat of a mass uprising — has made a shift to a freer, more democratic, transparent, and accountable government attractive to citizens, leaders, and their core supporters. Ukraine is in the unusual situation of meeting all three conditions at once. But to turn opportunity into reality and foster a genuinely free, democratic, and prosperous society, the country’s leaders, as well as the United States and the European Union, need to engage in democratization’s best practices.… Seguir leyendo » “Ukraine’s Last Best Hope”
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Why do certain dictators survive while others fall? Throughout history, downtrodden citizens have tried to throw off the yoke of their oppressors, but revolutions, like those sweeping through the Arab world, are rare.
Despotic rulers stay in power by rewarding a small group of loyal supporters, often composed of key military officers, senior civil servants and family members or clansmen. A central responsibility of these loyalists is to suppress opposition to the regime. But they only carry out this messy, unpleasant task if they are well rewarded. Autocrats therefore need to ensure a continuing flow of benefits to their cronies.
If the dictator’s backers refuse to suppress mass uprisings or if they defect to a rival, then he is in real trouble.… Seguir leyendo » “How Tyrants Endure”