In an age of increased scrutiny, violent and repressive states are turning to subtler methods of removing dissidents and opponents.
Not since the bad old days of former President Daniel Moi's regime has Kenya witnessed such a swift and calculated assault on the media.
The Venezuelan government has just announced that it will hold a presidential election by the end of April. Despite pervasive hunger and discontent, democracy still doesn't stand a chance.
Rodrigo Duterte's authoritarianism has progressed from death squads and martial law to cracking down on press freedom.
Robert Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe is over. But the country's road to democracy remains a bumpy one as Zanu-PF, the new president and the military go about entrenching power.
Some observers think Mugabe's overthrow by the Army might be a good thing for Zimbabwe. An Argentinean expert on Latin America's bloody military dictatorships disagrees.
Mugabe and his powerful wife have been overthrown in an apparent coup orchestrated by Zimbabwe's vice president. Will the country transition into democracy or get strapped with yet another dictator?
President Duterte declared martial law back in March to aid the fight against Islamic militants. Many fear he will continue using this power.
As despotic personality cults go, Stalin's example still leads the pack. But North Korea's ruling family have taken it to a new extreme.
Getting out of North Korea isn't easy, but tens of thousands have managed it nonetheless.
Zambia's president is securing powers to consolidate his political control while generating 'plausible deniability' to whether or not he has fatally undermined democracy.
Some may say it's far fetched to compare a 1970s African dictator with the President of the United States. But the similarities between Idi Amin and Donald Trump are quite startling.
French voters should understand what it means to live in a country where autocratic populism is the rule.
Rather than an outright coup, Venezuela's government has slowly eroded its democratic institutions and processes, until now.
The end of Yahya Jammeh should be celebrated, but his democratic neighbours had the strongest of hands to play.
The mathematician Kurt Gödel is said to have found a way that the US constitution would allow for a dictator to take control, or so the story goes. He certainly had the mind for it.
The scene of Chile's proudest football triumphs is also a monument to some of its darkest days.
Two Italian scholars who fled fascism in the 1920s urgently warned that American democracy was vulnerable to the same gradual erosion as in Italy. Their message still rings true today.
Ranting narcissists with no patience for detail have terrorised and suppressed their people the world over. Is a new one about to join their ranks?
Turkey is sliding into autocracy – and the man at the helm seems keen to speed things up.