There are really only two broad categories of governments in international politics today: the democracies and the authoritarian regimes.
What is the one factor that causes states to become either democratic or authoritarian? Is it the social milieu, past experiences with either form of rule, or is it something else? What was it that made the people of the USSR so loyal to their authoritarian institutions and what was it that made the steadfast democracies of today what they are?
Also are there any educated predictions as to what the balance between authoritarianism and democracy will look like in the future? Are we going to see the victory of democracy as Francis Fukuyama predicted or will there be a resurgence in authoritarianism? The economist had an interesting article in the most recent issue stating that the number of democracies have decreased in past years. Is this a short term trend or the beginning of a long decline?
Here's a link to the article: