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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
  • 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. 1 | February 2017
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South China Sea:
War on the Horizon?
Global Challenges
Issue no. 1 | February 2017
South China Sea: War on the Horizon?

While the global balance of power, under the impetus of the steady rise of China, is shifting towards the Asia-Pacific, and because the future of US policy is uncertain after the election of Donald Trump, tensions in the South China Sea have once again become a major strategic concern. The South China Sea is witnessing a series of sovereignty disputes between littoral states defending rivalling claims to maritime rights and boundaries. Adding weight and urgency to the disputes are the significant natural resources found in the coveted archipelagos and sea beds as well as the rising national sentiments in many of the claimant states. The geostrategic dimension of these quarrels is largely transcending the region and the involvement of external powers such as the United States further complicates the equation. The recent legal victory of the Philippines over China can be seen as a supplementary cause for anxiety in a latent conflict that may at any time escalate into a regional or global confrontation. Henceforth the search for a negotiated solution becomes crucial as military budgets continue to soar in the region.