The 1980s and early 1990s have witnessed the extraordinary demise of authoritarian regimes once thought to be a permanent fixture of the political landscape. Defying old orthodoxies and alliances, communist governments in Eastern Europe, military juntas in Latin America, and one-party states in Africa have given way to governments chosen in free and open elections. "A tide of democratic change is sweeping the world," Professor Rustow recently declared, and the numbers bear him out. At the turn of the century only nine countries could legitimately be called "democratic," even excluding the question of women's suffrage. The number rose to twenty-one by 1929 and twenty-nine by 1960. By 1990, according to one survey, sixty-five countries chose their governments in elections marked by "fair electoral laws, equal campaigning opportunities, fair polling and honest tabulation of ballots.
Gregory H. Fox,
The Right to Political Participation In International Law,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol17/iss2/4