The 3rd Bali Democracy Forum ended yesterday with participants in agreement that a homegrown democratic system provides greater legitimacy to the incumbent government which in turn renders it to be more responsive to society's problems.

Taiwan's democracy and emphasis on human rights are its most effective forms of 'soft power, ' and its adherence to these values will influence China positively in the long run, Harvard professor Joseph Nye said in Taipei on Wednesday.

Burma's oppressive military government has for decades spurred activists across the globe to protest to politicians and in front of Burma's embassies. Demonstrations inside Burma are rare as they carry heavy penalties. However, one group of young activists is taking risks to encourage their generation to push for democracy.

After enjoying a good run in the 1980s and 1990s, democracy has been playing defense lately. Dictators have grown wise to people power. China, Russia, Iran and Cuba have been more successful exporting and extolling their systems than democracies have been in promoting theirs.

Since international influence played a vital role in bringing about democracy in Thailand in 1992, inevitably it is interesting to know, what exactly are the ASEAN, US, UN and EU responses to the recent Thai crisis?

It has now been a year since the historic Iranian presidential election and its volcanic aftermath. Some in Iran, proud of the highest turnout (85%) in Iranian election history, consider the day (June 12) a time for glory, while others, in the defeated Reformist camp, consider it a memorial day for those who lost their lives in the violence.