Authoritarianism

A Belarusian woman walks past security officers during a rally of opposition supporters in Minsk on Aug. 11, 2020.

Lukashenko’s Brutal Crackdown Has Lethal Help From Moscow

An investigation into the suppression of protests discovered the widespread use of Russian weapons.

Director Terry George talks to Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame Celebrated ‘Hotel Rwanda’—Until Its Hero Criticized Him

Rwanda’s president once welcomed the Hollywood film. His recent attacks on the movie and its protagonist show that his government cannot handle dissent.

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in Washington on Jan. 6.

How to Live With Authoritarians

Democracies have to learn how to manage some people’s innate fears of change.

A cutout of the Goddess of Democracy stands out in a sea of light during a vigil to remember the Tiananmen Square movement on its 10th anniversary in Hong Kong, on June 4, 1999.

Autocrats Have a Playbook—Now Democrats Need One Too

With democracy still in retreat, it is time to get smart about fighting back.

People eat lunch in front of a billboard along a street in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Aug. 6, 2019.

Cambodia’s Post-Pandemic Law and Order

Amid economic crisis, sweeping new legislation on “public order” would stifle dissent—and effectively criminalize people for being poor.

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with blood on his hands

Autocrats Increasingly Quashing Dissent Beyond Their Own Borders

Freedom House says transnational repression is on the rise—led by China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

A supporter of President Donald Trump walks with a confederate flag during a protest on Dec. 12, 2020 in Washington.

How to Counter White Supremacist Extremists Online

To stop future attacks like the Capitol invasion, the Biden administration must lead the way in pushing social media platforms to counter the far-right.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

The Capitol Coup Attempt Was the Far-Right’s Opening Shot

Jan. 6 was a classic example of propaganda by the deed—a revolutionary approach favored by everyone from 19th-century anarchists to Osama bin Laden.

André Ventura, the leader of Chega, delivers a speech in Lisbon on Jan. 24.

Was Portugal’s Election a Breakthrough for the Far-Right?

The incumbent president won in a landslide, but a populist right-wing candidate raised eyebrows in a country that has so far avoided extremes.

Paul Rusesabagina is escorted by police officers after his pretrial court session at the Kicukiro Primary Court in Kigali, Rwanda, on Sept. 14, 2020.

Rwanda’s Rendition of a Hollywood Hero Confirms the Country’s Descent Into Dictatorship

Paul Rusesabagina is the latest dissident to be caught in the Rwandan ruler’s authoritarian net. Western governments must stop portraying President Paul Kagame’s repressive regime as a development success story.

A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump holds a Confederate flag outside the Senate Chamber after breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Washington Must Treat White Supremacist Terrorism as a Transnational Threat

After the Capitol attack, the U.S. government needs to recognize racist extremists as a national security risk and create a high-level counterterrorism czar to disrupt their financing and dismantle their networks.

A pro-Trump rioter yells inside the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

It Happened Here

Trump’s movement is a uniquely American fascism, built on a century of American imperialism.

Police officers attempt to push back a mob supporting U.S. President Donald Trump as the rioters try to storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

Carnage Comes to the Capitol

Donald Trump decried ‘American carnage’ in his 2017 inaugural address on the Capitol steps. His rhetoric made it a reality in 2021.

Supporters and employees of Philippine broadcast network ABS-CBN protest against government attacks on press freedom, in Manila on Feb. 21, 2020.

How Press Freedom Came Under Attack in 2020

Citizens hungry for information turned to the media during the pandemic, but governments around the world used the crisis to restrict journalists.

People's Liberation Army soldiers wear protective masks as they stand at attention in front of photo of China's president Xi Jinping at their barracks in Beijing on May 20.

The Power Delusion

U.S.-China competition isn’t just about great-power rivalry. It’s about the ideological battle between democracy and authoritarianism, too.

Saudi King Salman (R) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) receive Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Neom site near Maqnah, Saudi Arabia on Aug. 14, 2018.

What Trump’s Loss Means for Authoritarian Leaders

From Cairo to Riyadh, autocrats are nervous about what a Biden administration might mean for their relationship with Washington.

People pass a poster depicting French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) Marine Le Pen with the face of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017.

Locked Down at Home, Much of France Is Quietly Rooting for Biden

Trump’s insults and ideological closeness to Marine Le Pen have left a bitter taste.

A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes part in a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 28, 2018.

How Brazil Was ‘Ukrainized’

After an obscure—and confusing—term burst into politics, the country’s far-right may be forever changed.

Protesters try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are kept out by State Police at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 30.

Election Violence in the United States Is a Clear and Present Danger

Americans expect election-related instability in faraway countries. Here’s how it could happen at home.