In recent years, as leading authoritarian countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela have become emboldened within the global arena, challenging the liberal international political order, the advanced democracies have retreated rather than responding to this threat.
"Liberation technology" can help mobilize citizen protest and oust autocracies. Authoritarians can also use technology to stifle protest and target dissenters. Who will win the technological race between "netizens" demanding freedom and authoritarians determined to stay in power?
Excerpts from: U.S. president Donald J. Trump’s inaugural address; remarks by U.S. vice-president Mike Pence and U.S. senator John McCain at the Munich Security Conference; speeches by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, and the Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow; and NED president Carl Gershman’s remarks before the Lithuanian parliament.
Reports on elections in Bulgaria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Macedonia, Micronesia, Romania, Somalia, and Timor-Leste.
In 2016, established democracies figured prominently on the list of countries experiencing declines in freedom, while emboldened autocracies stepped up their repression at home and interference abroad.
Populist nationalism is emerging as the main competitor to liberal democracy. But despite its current resurgence, in the long run, like other illiberal paths to modernity, it is likely to prove a dead end.
The use of force and intimidation against women trying to take part in politics is a growing problem in many places. Such violence assumes a number of different forms, but all aim to keep women as women out of public life.