Deepening Democracy

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

The Uneven Playing Field: Political finance in post-Arab Spring countries

The Uneven Playing Field: Political finance in post-Arab Spring countries

Pro-democracy protesters in Yemen with an umbrella full of money. (Source: Al Jazeera English) “Our revolution was hijacked,” Mahmoud, a young protestor from Yemen, told me in one of our discussions. “We stand no chance against the established powers in any elections,” said Marwa, another young protestor from Egypt. Mahmoud […]

by × 07 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

In Timor-Leste, deepening democracy means ongoing international support for electoral authorities

In Timor-Leste, deepening democracy means ongoing international support for electoral authorities

Keeping a watchful eye (Credit: UNDP) The Report of the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security identified building professional, competent electoral management bodies (EMBs) as one of the five major challenges that must be overcome to conduct elections with integrity. There is more to it, though. East Timor, for […]

by × 04 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Democracy in Britain: Decline, reform, and a place called Bettws

Democracy in Britain: Decline, reform, and a place called Bettws

Political pundits in Britain often frame competition in elections as a fight for ‘middle England’. Each election, they invent names such as ‘Essex man’ or ‘Worcester woman’ to describe archetypal voters representative of marginal constituencies necessary to win a parliamentary majority. Bettws ward in Gwent, Wales, may not be the […]

by × 04 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Did you hear about the Silk Commission last week…? No? Let me explain: the Commission produced a report which threw its weight behind a key democratic idea which a country – any country – can adopt to deepen democracy. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy & Security noted, developing […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Washington’s Bête Noire I think it’s fair to say that democracy in the United States is already pretty “deep”. As a US citizen, I feel incredibly lucky to live in a society whose history is rooted in democratic ideals—a society that continues to benefit from the types of “elections with […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in India: Fine-tuning rules and procedures to strengthen parliamentary oversight on the government

Deepening Democracy in India: Fine-tuning rules and procedures to strengthen parliamentary oversight on the government

The Deepening Democracy report by the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Securitydiscusses the importance of improving the integrity of elections. While fairness, funding and conduct of elections undoubtedly is a concern that citizens espouse worldwide, that in itself may not be a panacea to fulfil the function of representative […]

by × 02 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy Means Looking Beyond Elections

Deepening Democracy Means Looking Beyond Elections

We must remember that democracies are not self-executing systems; they stand on complex political institutions that reflect the political power of the citizenry. For many countries, then, the challenge is keeping the population constructively engaged in the democratic process following successful free and fair elections. Elections are often not the […]

by × 28 November 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy, Deepening Divides: Can democracy and the international refugee regime coexist?

Deepening Democracy, Deepening Divides: Can democracy and the international refugee regime coexist?

A report on deepening democracy released by the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security recognised that the enfranchisement of displaced populations, including refugees, ‘is critical for ensuring the integrity of elections and the establishment of democracy’. But this statement belies a deeper interaction, and even conflict, between the international refugee regime and democracy.

What would ‘deepening democracy’ mean for the refugee regime? I suggest that strengthening democratic institutions could deepen divides between refugees and host communities. To ensure that the international refugee regime and democracy can successfully co-exist, we must think not just of deepening democracy, but of also balancing it with the rights of refugees.

by × 27 November 2012 ×