July 2020

Volume 31, Issue 3

Free

China’s Pandemic Power Play

President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to seize new ground and promote China’s global influence. But their assertive, strong-arm tactics are born from fear and restless insecurity.

Authoritarian Survival

The Future of Nonviolent Resistance

In the decade leading up to the covid-19 pandemic, nonviolent civil resistance grew more popular than ever—but its effectiveness had already started to plummet. The future of nonviolent resistance may depend on movements’ ability to move beyond mass protests toward exploring alternative tactics and developing smarter, longer-term strategies.

How Taiwan Stands Up to China

No country in the world is more intensely targeted by Beijing’s influence operations than Taiwan. The lead-up to the January 2020 elections saw China putting a full-court press on the island, but Taiwanese democracy broke it.

South Korea’s Democratic Decay

Although South Korea is praised for its success at fighting covid-19, the triumph came at a cost to rights and privacy, and is drawing attention away from a larger drift toward illiberalism and bitterly factionalized politics.

Making Sense of Russia’s Illiberalism

The illiberal credo prominent in Russia’s foreign policy is more than just a clever political ploy. Rather, this outlook reflects the traumatic experience of the 1990s, and it is stoked by young political thinkers, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Kremlin itself.

Bolivia’s Citizen Revolt

Evo Morales lost the presidency in November 2019 due not to a coup, but to a citizen revolt. After his controversial bid for a fourth consecutive term, the opposition mobilized against him and his regime disintegrated.

Social Media Disruption

Documents on Democracy

Remarks on China from Deputy U.S. National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger; joint statement by David Kaye, Harlem Désir, and Edison Lanza on protecting the free flow of information during the covid-19 pandemic; open letter by Indian academic and Dalit-rights activist Anand Teltumbde; reflections from Joshua Wong on the future of Hong Kong’s prodemocracy movement