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.
© Chappatte in The New York Times www.chappatte.com
The essays in this volume are the product of a new 'research practicum' course in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. They build on the debates on 'Urban Morphology and violence' to reflect on the associations between cities - their political orders and disorders - and outcomes ranging from occupation and resistance to marginalisation and containment. These texts foreshadow the possibility of centring - and challenging - the urban in our understanding of contemporary conflict, violence and peace. They are a first step in opening up a research agenda for a more textured analysis of spatial, geographical and temporal dynamics within the city in relation to violence, and, therefore, the mobilisation of spatial, temporal and visual modes of analysis. The promise is to make visible the varied roles of urban morphologies - adding to the debate on cities in and as sites of conflict.
Centring the Urban in Our Understanding of ViolenceReading time: 4 min
Italian HospitalityReading time: 6 min
Hybrid Political Orders in Urban SettingsReading time: 5 min
Aerial Occupation and Aerial Forensics in GazaReading time: 4 min
Naypyidaw, Myanmar: A Capital Devoid of ProtestsReading time: 4 min
Planetary Conflict: Exploring the Urban Geography of Boko HaramReading time: 5 min
Making Peace with Urban Political SettlementsReading time: 5 min
Informality as a Right to Necessity?Reading time: 5 min
Stagnation in the French BanlieuesReading time: 5 min
After the outbreak of COVID-19 – a virus constituting a genuinely worldwide risk – fear internationalised in just a few weeks. As the COVID crisis has profoundly shaken societies on a global scale it has contributed to a reconfiguration – perhaps a multiplication – of risks and their perceptions. While foremost constituting a biological hazard, the pandemic has large repercussions on other types of risks, ranging from long-term economic and digital disruption to psychological distress and political confrontation. The nature and frontiers of risks are thus moving as the multilateral system, the most adequate framework to deal with global risks, is ailing and current risk mitigation strategies are increasingly put to question. The six articles of the present Dossier explore these changing hierarchies of risk and the underpinning structural issues that endanger our existence.