Electoral Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats

Become a Patron! Order your copy of Democracy in Hard Places today! Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats The Hungarian opposition pursued a complicated electoral strategy against Viktor Orbán and Fidesz in the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary elections. They tried to unify the opposition into a single political party to overtake Fidesz in single member district competitions. The problem... Continue Reading →

Viktor Orbán and the New Conservative

Become a Patron! Viktor Orbán and a New Conservatism Viktor Orbán is not a traditional conservative. He has implemented a generous family policy to support new parents through subsidies for housing, childcare, and medical care. Of course, Hungary receives large sums of its budget through transfers from the European Union. But unlike conservatives in the United... Continue Reading →

Fragile Autocracies

Become a Patron! Fragile Autocracies Many writers (including myself) refer to democracy as fragile. Even the most consolidated democracies face numerous threats from within and without its borders. However, the idea of democracy as fragile gives a false impression of authoritarianism as durable. In reality every regime has numerous internal and external threats to its... Continue Reading →

Faux Democracy

Become a Patron! Faux Democracy "Misappropriation of the word is a testament to democracy's appeal," write Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz in the recent Freedom in the World Report. The current democratic recession is different from those in the past. During previous autocratic waves, opponents of democracy openly attacked democratic governance. Both monarchists and fascists saw... Continue Reading →

Autocracy Today

Become a Patron! Autocracy Today Despite the decline of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism around the world, some things are different. Autocratic regimes today incorporate many democratic institutions. They also follow public opinion closely and even mobilize people to demonstrate genuine support for their policies. Most autocrats even engage in multiparty elections. Some elections... Continue Reading →

Surveillance Capitalism in an Interconnected World

Become a Patron! The Globalization of Surveillance Capitalism When Shoshana Zuboff wrote the acclaimed book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, she described the internet in dystopian terms. Tech corporations had gained immense powers over their users through almost limitless sums of data gathered from them. In many ways, Zuboff flipped the traditional dystopian themes of totalitarian... Continue Reading →

Transnational Repression

Become a Patron! Transnational Repression Freedom House recently published a report on transnational repression called Defending Democracy in Exile. It's recommended reading for anyone concerned about democracy and human rights. Transnational repression occurs at the intersection between immigration, foreign policy, and authoritarian despots. People who live in free countries naively believe authoritarian governance is contained within... Continue Reading →

Defending Democracy

Become a Patron! Defending Democracy This past week the European Commission began asking its countries to begin reducing its use of natural gas by 15% until next spring. Europeans face many challenges in their energy supply as they continue to support Ukraine against Russian aggression. Already consumers and companies face rising prices for energy, however... Continue Reading →

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