Dictators in Trouble - Democracy Isn’t the Only System under Stress

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Feb 10, 2020 | Foreign Affairs, Thomas Carothers

There has been a wave of unrest to force authoritarian leaders to resign under pressure. Autocratic leaders and parties have been humbled at the ballot box and replaced by more liberal rivals. Thomas Carothers suggests in this article for Foreign Affairs that some of these cases of authoritarian reversal or liberalisation may weaken due to pushback from deeply entrenched power structures, or reactions to tensions released by liberalisation. There has also been a democratic decline as citizens in free countries find the agendas of established political parties stale and unappealing, with many voters embracing radical, often demagogic, alternatives. Neither autocratic nor democratic leaders are able to respond effectively to popular demands for accountability and justice. 



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