Authoritarianism

Russian President Vladimir Putin is at German Chancellery.

Why Putin Is Obsessed With ‘Foreign Agents’

The Kremlin’s latest crackdown could ultimately backfire.

Tunisian military forces guard the area around the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 26.

Keep Tunisia’s Military Out of Politics

President Kais Saied has broken a 65-year taboo.

An Egyptian policeman patrols watch towers at Tora Prison on the southern outskirts of Cairo on Feb. 11, 2020.

Sisi Is Leaving the Sick to Suffer in Egypt’s Prisons

The Egyptian government has deliberately let a former presidential candidate languish behind bars without proper medical care.

Syrians wave national flags and carry a portrait of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The Middle East Is Preparing for the United States’ Exit From Syria

Among Arab countries, the race is on to repair ties with the Assad regime.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili takes off his protective facemask before delivering a speech at the Georgian Parliament, in Tbilisi, on Feb. 22.

Georgia Turns Its Back on the West

The ruling Georgian Dream party is taking Tbilisi into Moscow’s orbit while eroding democratic institutions.

Kais Saied speaks with people during his presidential campaign tour in Tunis on September 10, 2019.

Kais Saied Is Not a Dictator

Tunisia’s controversial president is seeking to preserve the legacy of the Arab Spring by stamping out corruption and promoting decentralized democracy.

The Russian and Chinese presidents attend a ceremony.

Welcome to the Era of Dictator Inflation

Authoritarians around the world are perfecting the art of seeming more powerful than they are.

A picture taken in 1961 shows the newly built Berlin Wall near Potsdamer Platz.

Belarus and Hong Kong Are Building the 21st Century’s Berlin Walls

Sixty years ago, a barrier in Berlin transformed Europe overnight. Today, authoritarian regimes are following in East Germany’s footsteps by barring their citizens from leaving.

A statue of Mao Zedong

Ideological Competition With China Is Inevitable—Like It or Not

Beijing recognizes promoting human rights and democracy is an ideological challenge. So should Washington.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives to deliver a speech on June 24, 2018 in Istanbul.

Cracks Are Growing in the Erdogan Regime

Turkey is more politically unstable today than at any other point in recent years.

Speechwriter Ben Rhodes attends press briefing.

Generation X’s Short Arc of History

Ben Rhodes’s new book about global politics reveals the limits of the Obama administration’s worldview.

Myanmar nationals hold a vigil in Thailand

Myanmar Pressure Campaign Stalls at the United Nations

The military regime’s neighbors resist sanctions, fearing it would divide regional powers.

Security officers record Bobi Wine.

Twitter’s Presence in Africa Won’t End Internet Censorship

Big Tech companies see an opportunity for growth on the continent, but they risk becoming accessories to authoritarian regimes.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko speaks in parliament in Minsk on May 26.

Authoritarianism Doesn’t Stop at the Water’s Edge

The Belarus hijacking is part of a broader trend. From Russia to Rwanda, governments are going after dissidents far beyond their borders.

Protest in support of Alexei Navalny in Vladivostok, Russia

With Putin’s Latest Crackdown, Russia Is Going Dark

As it goes full authoritarian, the Kremlin is targeting the last vestiges of civil society and independent media.

A vendor arranges fresh copies of the Apple Daily newspaper.

Killing Hong Kong’s Free Press Will Harm Its Economy

Beijing is betting expats will flock to the city despite China’s draconian media crackdown—but they could vote with their feet.

Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a photo while on vacation in Siberia on March 21.

Putin Is No Unicorn

“Weak Strongman” argues that to better understand Russia, we need to move past our fixation with its president.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military parade.

Is History Coming for Sisi’s Regime?

The clearest perspective on Egypt’s current military ruler is offered by a dissident who has seen previous ones rise—and fall.

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