The euphoria of democratic openings must inevitably confront the realities of creating functional democratic systems. Setbacks are common. In addition to overcoming entrenched autocratic institutional legacies, reformers must contend with first generation democratic leaders who become resistant to leaving the trappings of power. Journalists and civil society actors, similarly, often face restrictive and dangerous environments that limit their ability to gather and disseminate the independent information on which participatory democracy depends. Strengthening domestic and international measures to protect journalists and recognize and respond to creeping coups can help safeguard the success of democratic transitions and deepen democratic norms.
ACSS Director of Research, Joseph Siegle, has authored a recently published article, “Overcoming Dilemmas of Democratization,” in the Nordic Journal of International Law. The essay examines the vulnerability of democratic transitions to reversals and the means by which domestic and international policies can minimize these outcomes.
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This article is part of a Special Issue published by the Nordic Journal of International Law commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg. For a full list of other contributions in this Special Issue, please see: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15718107/81/4