The issue of political rights is universal, but each historical moment imparts upon the discussion of those rights its own special concerns. This book has been written at a time when two phenomena give it a particular slant, and when political rights have acquired a special urgency, colour, and relevance. The first concerns responses to political terrorism and violence. The second, much happier phenomenon is the transition of a very large number of states from authoritarianism to democracy. In addition to democratic transitions in Africa (most notably in South Africa), South-East Asia (Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, etc.), and in South America, democratization was very prominently brought about by the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the emergence of more than twenty new democracies in this region. This book also looks at the political-rights landscape in Central and Eastern Europe and the political rights of national and ethnic minorities.
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