Democratic consolidation around the world currently faces major challenges. Threats to democracy have become more insidious, especially due to the manipulation of legal and constitutional procedures originally designed to guard democracy against arbitrary action and abuse. Free and fair elections, the cornerstone of democratic legitimacy, are under considerable stress from populism and post-truth movements, who abuse new digital communication technologies to confuse and mislead citizens.
Stephen Stedman argues in 'The American Interest" that efforts to improve American electoral integrity through reforms such as non-partisan election administration can protect the vote and restore public faith in the electoral process. American election administration falls short of international standards for conducting elections, and can be improved in significant ways.
This book compares sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union, two regions beset by the breakdown of states suffering from extreme official corruption, organized crime extending into warlordism, and the disintegration of economic institutions and public institutions for human services. The contributors not only study state breakdown but also compare the consequences of post-communism with those of post-colonialism.