Common challenges such as globalization and populism confront some fledgling semi-presidential democracies. The consequences for political transformation to respond those challenges have been remarkably varied across different semi-presidential countries. In some countries, democratic practices have demonstrated the resilience of semi-presidentialism, whereas in others countries on the contrary they have presented the fragility of semi-presidentialism. This panel will shed more light on the recent developments of newly born semi-presidential democracies and explicate why some semi-presidential countries have experienced democratic recession while some semi-presidential countries have suffered the rise of populist presidents, even leading to democratic breakdown. Globalization has made the crisis of world economy spread rapidly over the globe. The prescription of austerity measures of economic policies in countries has compelled the disadvantaged people to appeal to social protests and to support for anti-establishment populist candidates. The resurgence of populism has hung over Latin America, Europe, U.S., Asia and elsewhere more than before. Populist leaders while in government can undermine the liberal order of democratic countries and even slide into authoritarianism. This panel will discuss how and why some semi-presidential countries have regressed in terms of democratic liberty and how and why some semi-presidential countries have broken down.