Why do some hybrid regimes remain stable over time, while others become more authoritarian? Venezuela’s autocratic turn has been driven by the ruling party’s declining electoral fortunes and by a foreign policy that has shielded it from international scrutiny.
Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth sustains the antidemocratic policies that a nervous royal regime uses to defend against the threats and problems that confront it.
The Iranian regime has sought to recast conventional principles of human rights and political participation by forging alliances with like-minded regimes and by broadcasting its narrative to an international audience.
Iran’s authoritarianism is more flexible and more durable than its detractors would hope, yet more fragile and endangered than its defenders claim.
As China’s power grows, will it seek to remake the world in its authoritarian image? For now, China shows no such missionary impulse, but the ways in which it pursues its interests can still threaten the fate of democracy.