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Global Challenges
Issue no. 2 | September 2017
Democracy at Risk
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 2 | September 2017
Democracy at Risk

While the 20th century has been characterised by the generalisation of democratisation processes, the 21st century seems to have started with the reverse trend. An authoritarian-populist nexus is threatening liberal democracy on a global scale, including in its American and European heartlands. Charismatic leaders – thriving on electoral majorities and popular referenda – methodically undermine the rule of law and constitutional safeguards in order to consolidate their own power basis. Coupling inflammatory rhetoric with modern communication technologies, they short-circuit traditional elites and refuse to abide by international norms. Agitating contemporary scourges such as insecurity, loss of identity, mass migration and corrupt elites, they put in place new laws and mechanisms to harness civil society and political opponents. In order to better understand the novelty, permanence and global reach of “illiberal democracy”, this second issue of Global Challenges proposes seven case studies (Russia, Hungary, Turkey, the Middle East, Uganda, Venezuela and the United States) complemented by a series of expert interviews, maps and infographics.

Articles for this issue

Democracy at Risk
  • I
     
    Representation of: Populist, Autocrat, Dictator, Demagogue, Despot.

    Democracy at the Crossroads

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 1
     
    Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tuva region, southern Siberia. Between 1 and 3 August 2017.

    Russia: Haunting Western Democratic Imagination

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 2
     
    The nationalist Jobbik party’s rally and march against “gypsy terror” in Hejoszalonta, Hungary. 3 April 2011.

    Orbán’s Lawfare against Liberal Democracy in Hungary

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 3
     
    People wave Turkish national flags as they gather on at Kizilay Democracy Square in Ankara during a rally against the failed military coup of 15 July 2016. 10 August 2016.

    Turkey: Erdoğan’s Authoritarian Turn

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 4
     
    Girl passing by posters of candidates of Iran’s Parliamentary Election in Tehran, Iran. 21 February 2016.

    Reinventing Authoritarianism in the Middle East

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 5
     
    Facade with Poster of President Yoweri Museveni, outside Kisoro, Southwestern Uganda. 23 July 2012.

    Uganda: Managing Democracy through Institutionalised Uncertainty

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 6
     
    Volunteer rescuers step aside to take cover as riot police motorcyclists charge on opposition activists protesting against the newly inaugurated Constituent Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela. 4 August 2017.

    Post-Truth Populism in Venezuela

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 7
     
    US President Donald Trump speaks at a

    The United States and the Trajectory of Democracy

    Reading time: 5 min
  • O
     

    Democracy on the Brink: Four Key Insights

Other Issues
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.

Issue no. 7 | April 2020
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Global Governance in Peril?
Global Challenges
Issue no. 7 | April 2020
Global Governance in Peril?

The present Dossier takes stock of the current state of the multilateral system and its future prospects. It aims to explore to what extent global governance is in crisis as the global geopolitical order is undergoing fundamental shifts and liberal universalism is losing traction. It assesses potential of reform in extant institutions as well as emerging trends, tools and forums that are reshaping multilateral practice on a daily basis.
Note – The dossier was drafted before the Covid-19 world crisis.