Democracy embodies responsive and responsible governance, rule of law, human rights, civic participation and peaceful transfers of power through electoral processes. Each of these underpins a peaceful and stable society. The U.S. Institute of Peace teaches democratic principles and democratization processes and techniques that are critical to both peacebuilding and effective governance. USIP seeks to strengthen governance by supporting inclusive, accountable institutions and a robust civil society. These in turn uphold human rights, justice and the rule of law, and promote public participation in social and political processes.
Burma's national dialogue, stalled for months, advanced this week with the opening of the second round of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in Naypyitaw, the capital. The five days of political talks focus on working out a federal system to resolve the country’s ethnic tensions.
Iranians head to the polls on May 19 to determine whether President Hassan Rouhani wins another four-year term, or is ousted or forced into a runoff by one of his challengers. The result has ramifications for relations with the U.S., as President Trump suggests a tougher line from Washington, and it will impact Iran’s actions in a Middle East roiled by wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Rouhani has been more open to engaging with the West and improving relations with Iran’s Sunni neighbors in the Persian Gulf than his conservative critics.
Plagued by successive coups and waves of violent conflict since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic managed to hold its first peaceful elections in late 2015 and early 2016. Fears of widespread violence proved unfounded. This report focuses on what went right in those elections and how those conditions have not held a year later, allowing violence to return to the country.