Authoritarianism

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.

King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan speaks at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2019 in New York City.

Jordan’s King Is His Own Worst Enemy

There’s much more evidence of the monarch’s poor governance than a foreign conspiracy against him.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan salutes his supporters during a rally at Istanbul's Yenikapi fairground to show solidarity with Palestinians after Israels aggression against Palestinian civilians on the Gaza border in Istanbul on May 18, 2018.

How Erdogan Got His Groove Back

It’s been a difficult and dizzying few months for Turkey—which is just the way the president likes it.

A group of Jehovah's Witnesses in Massachusetts

Why Is Putin Afraid of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Since they were labeled an extremist group in 2017, more than 400 have been charged or convicted.

Filipinos burn mock Chinese flag during an anti-China protest in Makati, Philippines.

America Will Only Win When China’s Regime Fails

There are two possible outcomes of U.S.-China competition—but Washington should prepare for the more turbulent one.

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.

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