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Authoritarianism

British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta shake hands after signing an agreement at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 14.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta shake hands after signing an agreement at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 14.

Britain Seeks to Send Refugees to Rwanda

Boris Johnson’s government is partnering with an authoritarian regime in a legally questionable effort to make Britain’s asylum-seeker problem disappear.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addresses the public in Belgrade, on Apr. 3.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addresses the public in Belgrade, on Apr. 3.

Aleksandar Vucic’s Pyrrhic Victory

The Serbian president’s anti-Western propaganda is coming back to haunt him.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews the guard of honour upon his arrival during a welcome ceremony ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President, in Kiev, on October 9, 2017.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews the guard of honour upon his arrival during a welcome ceremony ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President, in Kiev, on October 9, 2017.

Ukraine’s War Is Erdogan’s Opportunity

Turkey’s president is seizing on Europe’s crisis to establish his own country’s independent power.

A pro-Ukraine demonstrator wearing a face mask holds a placard reading “Hands off Ukraine” during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Feb. 22.
A pro-Ukraine demonstrator wearing a face mask holds a placard reading “Hands off Ukraine” during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Feb. 22.

Ukraine, Russia, and the Bear Hug of Authoritarianism

Of all the democracies that emerged in the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has suffered the most from Russian interference.

People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.
People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Can’t Torture Its Way to Stability

Until the Tokayev regime shows remorse for its brutal crackdown, the country’s reforms won’t bring progress.

Journalists visit the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China, on March 6, 2019.
Journalists visit the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China, on March 6, 2019.

Digital Human Rights Need a Single Home in U.S. Government

If everybody is responsible for countering digital authoritarianism, no one is responsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Intellectual Catastrophe of Vladimir Putin

The meaning of Russia’s war in Ukraine is its own national weakness.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.

Turkmenistan Is All About the Berdimuhamedovs

Central Asia is about to receive its first dynastic family.

Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of Bahrain, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, arriving at the pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain This handout image released by the US Naval Forces Central Command on Jan. 31, 2022.
Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of Bahrain, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, arriving at the pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain This handout image released by the US Naval Forces Central Command on Jan. 31, 2022.

Bahrain’s Paranoia About Iran Is Self-Defeating

A new regional alliance is undermining Bahrain’s stability at home.

A man looks at paperwork on a desk presented by a poll worker.
A man looks at paperwork on a desk presented by a poll worker.

Belarus Vote to Amend Constitution Worries NATO

The changes, certain to pass, will let Russia house nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil.

A woman tweets with a smartphone.
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.
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.

A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests
in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.
A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.

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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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