April 2022, Volume 33, Issue 2

What Putin Fears Most

  • Robert Person
  • Michael McFaul
Forget his excuses. Russia’s autocrat doesn’t worry about NATO. What terrifies him is the prospect of a flourishing Ukrainian democracy.
April 2022, Volume 33, Issue 2

Subversion Inc: The Age of Private Espionage

  • Ronald J. Deibert
International spying and digital subversion used to be the province of governments. Now anyone who has the cash can order hi-tech snooping and surveillance. This is a threat to the future of freedom.

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April 2022, Volume 33, Issue 2

The Rebirth of the Liberal World Order?

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has done something for the world’s democrats they could seemingly not do for themselves—given them a renewed unity, purpose, and resolve. Putin’s reckless gamble may unexpectedly strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond.

Latest Online Exclusives

Will Putin Outlast the War? (April 2022)
Russia’s autocrat may be weakened, but his grip on power is greater than many people realize.
By Maria Snegovaya

Why Putin’s Days Are Numbered (April 2022)
The system that Russia’s autocrat built wasn’t designed to survive the pressures it is now facing.
By Vladimir Milov

Ukraine Belongs in the EU (March 2022)
Ukraine doesn’t just deserve EU membership. Its bid could revive and reunify Europe. 
By Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova

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Sharp Power Research Portal

March 2022

The International Forum for Democratic Studies’ Sharp Power Research Portal is a tool for researchers, journalists, policymakers, and activists to recognize patterns of authoritarian influence in several domains. It includes over 750 resources providing research, reporting, and analysis.


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The Rise of Political Violence in the United States

In a deeply polarized United States, ordinary people now consume and espouse once-radical ideas and are primed to commit violence.

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The Undemocratic Dilemma

The ability of liberal democracies around the world to translate popular views into public policy has been declining. Yet there is no easy way to overcome this trend without weakening the capacity of governments to solve some of the most pressing challenges of…

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Russia’s Road to Autocracy

Thirty years after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia is firmly in the grip of an autocrat. Where did Russia’s path go wrong?