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.
Volume 33, Issue 2
Forget his excuses. Russia’s autocrat doesn’t worry about NATO. What terrifies him is the prospect of a flourishing Ukrainian democracy.
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.
In 2021, autocrats’ efforts to reshape the global order enabled heavier repression and brazen power grabs, while democracies faltered. Is this a tipping point?
Why are authoritarian regimes championing gender equality? Modern dictators want to appear progressive, liberal, and democratic, while distracting from their worst abuses.
The same technologies that are making traffic flow faster, cities run better, and ad-targeting more precise are also helping authoritarian governments to crush protests, hunt dissidents, and control their populations.
China’s ability to shape the global entertainment industry extends well beyond films, and it no longer rests solely on the allure of big markets. Beijing is exerting newfound leverage that is making giant U.S. media companies do its bidding.
The country’s struggles with crime and corruption led many to tag it as a near-failed state. Yet the Rainbow Nation is in fact an unexpected success story, with a political landscape that is growing more vibrant and diverse.
The country’s opposition beat an authoritarian incumbent by unifying, organizing its supporters, and contesting every election no matter the odds. Can the strategy be applied elsewhere?
It was no secret Daniel Ortega was bent on dismantling his country’s democracy. But by the time his opponents joined forces, it was too late. A cautionary tale for all democrats.
Conspiracy theories are not the sole preserve of dictatorships, but a global phenomenon. Worse, the political competition that is inherent to democracy is driving the spread of lies, fake schemes, and half-truths.
Europe appeared ready to turn its back on the pessimistic vision of populists—and then Putin upended the continent. A new book may serve as a textbook for progress, or a signpost of democracy’s dashed hopes.
Excerpts from: letter from the Editors of Novaya Gazeta; Speech by Ukraine’s UN Ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya; statement by former Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė; statement by the Russian Anti-War Committee; transcript of an interrogation of an antiwar protester by Russian police; speech by Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky to the U.K. Parliament