Authoritarianism

A woman tweets with a smartphone.

How Twitter Failed Africa

Big Tech ignored policies that enable disinformation and propaganda across the continent.

Musician turned politician Bobi Wine (C) is joined by other activists on July 11, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda, during a demonstration to protest a controversial tax on the use of social media.

How Democracy Can Defeat Autocracy

Autocrats are on the defensive as popular protests mount—but democracy’s fate depends on leaders delivering results.

Burnt-out city administration building in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s Protests Aren’t a Color Revolution

The country’s widespread popular demonstrations transcended class, region, and politics—making them distinct from those in Belarus and Ukraine.

A close-up of Erdogan speaking into a microphone in front of a Turkish flag

Autocrats Are Exploiting COVID-19 to Weaken Central Bank Independence

The pandemic-induced economic crisis has created the perfect conditions for backtracking.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades.

Will Unrest in Kazakhstan Inflame Tensions Between Russia and the West?

A sudden wave of protests has spooked the Kremlin and precipitated an unprecedented intervention by Moscow and its allies.

Police officers walk past a mural depicting former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic in Belgrade on Nov. 9, 2021.

Why Serbia’s President Is a Threat to Europe

Aleksandar Vucic’s authoritarian government is aiding Russian and Chinese propaganda and allowing genocide denialists to celebrate war criminals.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives at at Cologne's airport, on September 29, 2018 in Cologne, where he is to inaugurate the Central Mosque, one of Europe's largest.

Why One Man Can Ruin Turkey’s Economy

Did Erdogan break Turkish politics by empowering the presidency—or was it broken already?

A member of the Alawite community pastes pictures of Rifaat al-Assad on a wall in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Dec. 6, 2007.

Assad’s Family Reunion Could Be a Final Victory

By reconciling with an estranged uncle, Syria’s dictator may have definitively reestablished his power.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban steps on the podium to give a speech during an economic forum attended by 15 central and eastern European leaders as well as the Chinese Premier as a guest on November 27, 2017 in Budapest.

Hungary’s Strongman Is Running Scared

A unified democratic alliance finally has the chance to beat Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party in elections early next year.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gets the help of a bodyguard as he takes off his overcoat during his visit at the 'La Alhambra' in Granada, Spain,  13 January 2008 .

Erdogan Has Never Been in This Much Trouble

Surrounded by rivals amid a collapsing economy, the Turkish president is facing the longest odds of his life.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi arrives for a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 3, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Why Dictators Always Pretend to Love the Law

There’s something farcical—but entirely rational—about the way authoritarians such as Egypt’s Sisi invoke legal justifications for repression.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz arrives for a cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem on Aug. 1.

The Long Arm of Israeli Repression

Israel’s decision to designate human rights groups as terrorist organizations puts it in league with Russia and China.

Protesters shout slogans as they hold flyers in Hong Kong on October 15, 2019, during a rally in support of NBA basketball Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

Chinese Censorship Is Going Global

Beijing is not content to stop stifling free speech at the water’s edge. Western companies and institutions must put liberty before profits.

Members of the Papuan Students Alliance protest in support of the Papuan independence movement.

Indonesia Can’t Quell West Papua’s Growing Independence Movement

Jokowi’s approach to the restive province is fundamentally flawed.

Maria Ressa holds up the warrant of arrest order after posting bail at a court in Manila.

A Nobel for Journalists Is a Direct Challenge to Authoritarians

Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov’s award will make leaders like Duterte and Putin think twice before attacking reporters—but only if democratic governments bolster the free press.

The exterior of a fancy office building on a street in London.

The Fatal Flaw in the West’s Fight Against Autocracy

The Pandora Papers reveal the critical role Western countries play in enabling autocrats.

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar looks on as he arrives for a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, on June 26, 2019.

Erdogan’s Heir Apparent Isn’t a Problem

Turkey’s minister of defense is a staunch nationalist—but that doesn’t mean he’s anti-Western.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is at German Chancellery.

Why Putin Is Obsessed With ‘Foreign Agents’

The Kremlin’s latest crackdown could ultimately backfire.

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