authoritarianism

A member of staff poses for a photograph at a workspace in the National Cyber Security Centre on Feb. 14, 2017 in London, England. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

How to Regulate the Internet Without Becoming a Dictator

The British model of filtering data rather than content can protect citizens while preserving an open internet.

U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 30, 2018.

Trump and May Are Discrediting Democracy

Chaos and dysfunction in Washington and London make liberal democratic government look bad—and embolden China and Russia to market authoritarianism as an efficient alternative.

In Dhaka, people read newspapers carrying headlines outlining the general election results on Dec. 31, 2018. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured a fourth term with a landslide victory in a vote the opposition slammed as "farcical" over claims of vote-rigging, and clashes between rival supporters that killed at least 17 people. (Indranil Mukherjee / AFP/Getty Images)

The World Should Be Watching Bangladesh’s Election Debacle

The ruling party is making a mockery of the electoral process, pandering to Islamic extremists, and turning the country into an authoritarian state

(Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

中国的大跃退

数十年来,中国设法避免了独裁统治通常会带来的大多数问题,而现在习近平对个人权力的追逐正在毁掉使中国成为例外的整个基础

A supporter of Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro takes part in a rally in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 21. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Not Just the Right That’s Voting for Bolsonaro. It’s Everyone.

Brazil’s populist firebrand is relying on conservative values, fear of crime, anger about corruption, and rampant fake news to gain support from across the political spectrum.

Portraits of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulazziz and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are seen on October 18, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Jamal Khashoggi Had Skin in the Game. The Crown Prince’s Cheerleaders Didn’t.

Too often, Westerners treat courageous local experts like pawns in a political game. The journalist’s murder should serve as a reminder that, for some, writing an op-ed is a deadly risk.

Members of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie patrol in Omar Bongo Square in Buea, Cameroon’s majority-Anglophone southwestern province’s capital, during a political rally for incumbent President Paul Biya on Oct. 3. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

Cameroon’s Paul Biya Gives a Master Class in Fake Democracy

One of the world’s most experienced autocrats has clinched another seven-year term by bending the rules of the game in his direction in ways both old and new.

(Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

China’s Great Leap Backward

For decades, the country managed to avoid most problems suffered by dictatorships. Now Xi Jinping’s personal power play risks undermining everything that made China exceptional.

People attend a demonstration against Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sept. 16 in Budapest as the European Commission considered disciplinary action against Orban's policies. (Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

The End of Viktor Orban’s Peacock Dance

As the European Union takes long overdue measures to punish the Hungarian regime, the prime minister appears to be moving from rhetorical to real repression.

An aerial view of the world's longest cross-sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, after the major work of the bridge was completed in Zhuhai city, south China's Guangdong province, on Dec. 31, 2017. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

Beijing Is Foisting a White Elephant on Hong Kong

The massive Greater Bay Area project is about China's needs, not Hong Kongers.

Viktor Orban gestures during a debate about Hungary as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on September 11, 2018. (Frederick Florian/AFP/Getty Images)

In Hungary, Social Conservatism and Authoritarianism Aren’t the Same

The European Parliament needs to start condemning Orban for the right reasons.

Protesters hold a banner reading "Stand up for decent Slovakia" during a protest in Bratislava, Slovakia, on June 22, 2018, four months after the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee.

Press Freedom Is Still Under Attack in Slovakia

A journalist’s murder shocked the country in February, but it hasn’t led to a more independent media.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan sign agreements in Ankara on December 18, 2013. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Die, but Authoritarianism Is Forever

It’s reassuring to think authoritarian governments depart with their leaders. It’s also wrong.

Young men browse Facebook on a street in Yangon, Myanmar, on Aug. 20, 2015. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

Asia’s Authoritarians Are Big Fans of Regulating Facebook

Not everyone fighting “fake news” is doing it for the right reasons.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic address a joint press conference following their talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on February 27, 2018.

How Aleksandar Vucic Became Europe’s Favorite Autocrat

The EU is undermining its credibility by choosing stability over democracy in Serbia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduces Donald Trump during a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. (John Sommers II/Getty Images)

Democracy Is Dying by Natural Causes

From Nazis to Newt Gingrich, a brief survey of the many ways government-by-the-people can perish from the earth.

Chinese President Xi Jinping during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing, China, on Oct. 25, 2017. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

China’s Stability Myth Is Dead

With Xi Jinping's great power comes great irresponsibility.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech in front of the National Museum of Budapest on March 15, 2015.

Hungary and Poland Aren’t Democratic. They’re Authoritarian.

Central Europe’s populist revolt against the EU isn’t about safeguarding the West. It’s about rolling back freedoms and cozying up to Russia.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony in Paris on October 24, 2017.

Egypt’s Undemocratic Election

Under Sisi’s iron fist, only one candidate is allowed to run.

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