October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

How AI Threatens Democracy

  • Sarah Kreps
  • Doug Kriner
Generative AI can flood the media, internet, and even personal correspondence with misinformation—sowing confusion for voters and government officials alike. If we fail to act, mounting mistrust will polarize our societies and tear at our institutions.
October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

How Financial Secrecy Undermines Democracy

  • Charles G. Davidson
  • Ben Judah
An expansive underworld of hidden wealth lies beneath the everyday economy. This stealth network of tax havens, secret trusts, and offshore accounts is weakening democratic institutions and fueling our worst enemies.
October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

AI and Catastrophic Risk

  • Yoshua Bengio
AI with superhuman abilities could emerge within the next few years, and there is currently no guarantee that we will be able to control them. We must act now to protect democracy, human rights, and our very existence.

More from the October Issue

View Contents

October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

Democracy’s Surprising Resilience

Despite worry of an authoritarian resurgence, the vast majority of “third wave” democracies are enduring. Democracy, buoyed by economic growth and urbanization, is outperforming most people’s expectations or fears.

October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

Democracy’s Devout Defenders

When Africa’s leaders act undemocratically, they face an unexpected opponent—the power of the pulpit. Within civil society, church leaders and their faithful have become leading defenders of liberal democracy.

October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

The Danger of Runaway AI

Science fiction may soon become reality with the advent of AI systems that can independently pursue their own objectives. Guardrails are needed now to save us from the worst outcomes.

October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

The Authoritarian Data Problem

AI is destined to become another stage for geopolitical conflict. In this contest, autocracies have the advantage, as they vacuum up valuable data from democracies, while democracies inevitably incorporate data tainted by repression.

Latest Online Exclusives

Stop Trying to “Defeat” China and Russia | Ali Wyne and Liana Fix
Moscow and China pose a great danger to the democratic world. But they are threats that need to be managed, not won. Every great foreign-policy battle doesn’t end with a decisive victory.

A Shock to Guatemala’s System | Will Freeman and Lucas Perelló
Almost no one thought that an underdog political reformer could defeat Guatemala’s corrupt political machine, but Bernardo Arévalo did just that. Now comes the hard part.

Why the Defenders of Liberal Democracy Need to Stand Up | Ghia Nodia
If liberal norms and institutions are to prevail, they need to be defended from the left and the right.

News & Updates

Is Zelensky the Right Leader at the Right Time?

September 2023

President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Washington to rally support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. As the war’s second year grinds on, the Ukrainian people are looking for Zelensky to help their country succeed, not just survive. Will Zelensky be able to shepherd Ukraine to victory?

Is Latin America Stuck in the Middle?

September 2023

Latin American voters are aggrieved, impatient, and eager to elect candidates who offer a break with the past—sometimes whatever that break may be. This factor, combined with high crime and middling economic growth, has led to wild swings and shrinking political rights. But can the region get itself unstuck?

View More

Most Read


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.


How Viktor Orbán Wins

The case of Hungary shows how autocrats can rig elections legally, using legislative majorities to change the law and neutralize the opposition at every turn, no matter what strategy they adopt.


How Zelensky Has Changed Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky is far more than a brave wartime leader. He began changing the tenor and direction of Ukrainian politics long before the people made him their president.