Loading...
Global Challenges
Issue no. 2 | September 2017
Democracy at Risk
Start reading
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
  • O
     

    Democracy on the Brink:
    Four Key Insights

  • 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
Other Issues
Issue no. 4 | October 2018
image
Epidemia of Walls in an (Un)free World
Global Challenges
Issue no. 4 | October 2018
Epidemia of Walls in an (Un)free World

We currently face a baffling paradox. While since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 a seemingly inexorable process of globalisation has been foreshadowing a peaceful and frontierless world, the number of walls across the world has been rising at a steady pace. Liberal and open societies buttressed by trade, international law and technological progress were supposed to implacably contribute to the erosion of frontiers and walls between nations. However, in a context of surging populist discourses, securitarian anxieties and identitarian politics as well as concomitant flows of migration alimented by climate change, conflict and poverty, nations have recently started to barricade themselves behind new walls.

Issue no. 6 | November 2019
image
Endangered Earth
Global Challenges
Issue no. 6 | November 2019
Endangered Earth

Soil is an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem. It contributes to and fulfills a wide range of environmental and societal functions such as food production, water filtering, carbon storage and the preservation of biodiversity essential to the survival of the human species. While soils have witnessed significant environmental degradation in recent decades, lands have been the object of increased economic competition and financial speculation. The commercial and financial scramble for land has never been more intense as transnational actors and governments such as the Chinese seek large scale bids for land in the Global South that have been likened to new forms of neocolonialism. The consequences of this double tension include the loss of biodiversity, floods, climate change, famines, forced migration and conflict. 

It is the assumption of the present Dossier that issues such as large scale exploitation of land and natural resources, soil degradation, biodiversity, food security and climate change are closely interdependent and cannot be treated in isolation. Seeking to explore and better understand the interlinkages between the material degradation of soils and the increased extractive, commercial and speculative pressure on lands, the Dossier aims to address some of the broader stakes the Anthropocene is currently facing: How irreversible is the damage that has been caused to earth's soils? Have we reached a point of no return? How many people is the earth able to feed and for how long? Are we trapped in a Malthusian logic? How will climate change depend and interact with changing patterns of soil distribution and depletion? What is the impact of large scale deforestation and natural resource extraction on the environment, particularly the soils? What are the governance patterns and technological solutions emerging to address land depletion and scarcity? What are some of the cybernetic loops and mechanisms of autoregulation through which the earth reacts to human interference?