The coronavirus pandemic seems to be strengthening China and its leader Xi Jinping, while weakening the United States. If an autocracy gains strength on the international stage, while at the same time fear and uncertainty are spreading among the global population, this may provide fertile ground for a new wave of democratic decline.
We checked 100 years of protests in 150 countries. Here’s what we learned about the working class and democracy.
The success of mass protests depends on who is doing the protesting.
What “Chernobyl” Teaches Us About the Superiority of Democracy
Authoritarian structures made Chernobyl an unavoidable accident. The HBO series “Chernobyl” has garnered rave reviews all over the world. Norwegian newspapers have been almost unanimous in their praise of the series. And with good reason. This is television drama at its very best. One largely overlooked aspect of the series is what it teaches us… Read more »
Is it Strange that Dictators Hold Elections?
Why do dictators hold elections that merely play to the gallery? On 11 October, Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected as president of Belarus with an impressive 84 per cent share of the vote. The election was anything but free and fair. According to the OSCE, Belarusian law makes it impossible for the will of the people… Read more »
Institutional Characteristics and Regime Survival: Why Are Semi-Democracies Less Durable than Autocracies and Democracies?
In Zaïre (currently DR Congo) in 1991, the country’s personalist ruler Mobutu Sese Seko faced popular unrest, army mutinies, and shrinking resources for patronage. Mobutu was seemingly starting to lose his grip on power, which he had held since the mid-1960s. In response, Mobutu ended the decades-long ban on political parties other than his own… Read more »
How Can States and Non-State Actors Respond to Authoritarian Resurgence?
Two weeks ago, the Monkey Cage ran a piece by Matthew Baum and Phil Potter suggesting that the policy of “democracy-promotion” has gone out of style. I think they’re right that in many circles democracy-promotion is politically passé and that, more broadly, democracy advocates are really having a tough couple of years. In the midst… Read more »