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Articles on Authoritarian rule

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Ugandan activist and writer Stella Nyanzi outside a Kampala court after a ruling in her favour against President Yoweri Museveni Sumy Sadurni/AFP via GettyImages

Naked protest: how ordinary citizens reveal truth to repressive regimes

When protesters strip naked to amplify their political voice, it is often a last resort within very restrictive regimes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media with members of the Senate Republican leadership, Oct. 29, 2019. AP/Jacquelyn Martin

What the Roman senate’s grovelling before emperors explains about GOP senators’ support for Trump

The Roman senate declined from a long-held position of authority under the Roman Republic to become almost wholly reliant on the whims of a given emperor, writes a classics scholar.
Two autocrats: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left, and Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, right, in Budapest, Hungary, Nov. 7, 2019. AP/Presidential Press Service

So you want to be an autocrat? Here’s the 10-point checklist

Today’s autocrats rarely use brute force to wrest control. A human rights and international law scholar details the modern authoritarian's latest methods to grab and hold power.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s increasingly repressive government uses colonial-era laws to silence dissent. EFE-EPA/ EPA/Phillipe Wojazer

How colonial rule predisposed Africa to fragile authoritarianism

The unstable authoritarian pathway that many post-colonial African states followed was facilitated by the way in which European empires undermined democratic elements within African societies.
Unyielding protesters put an end to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s 26-year old authoritarian rule. EPA-EFE/Stringer

Popular protests pose a conundrum for the AU’s opposition to coups

The role of the military in toppling authoritarian rulers, after intensive popular protests, raises questions about how the AU's policy against coups should be applied.
Syrian anti-government protesters march as part of an uprising against the country’s authoritarian regime, in Banias, Syria, April 17, 2011. The Arabic banner at center reads: ‘All of us would die for our country.’ AP/Anonymous

How the Syrian uprising began and why it matters

On the eighth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, scholar Wendy Pearlman writes about the people who risked their lives and raised their voices to fight the oppressive rule of Bashar al-Assad.
A rally celebrating the second anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, March 18, 2016. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

Autocracies that look like democracies are a threat across the globe

Almost one-third of countries around the world are authoritarian regimes with the trappings of democracy. Their bad behavior poses a threat to real democracies, as the United States recently learned.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses supporters after the parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. RREUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

How Viktor Orban degraded Hungary’s weak democracy

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has transformed from a liberal into an authoritarian leader who uses the tools of democracy to attack civil society. Hungarians are protesting in the streets.
A sign at a candlelit vigil tells the story of a country sliding further into authoritarianism. DAI KUROKAWA/EPA

Democracy in peril: Burundi’s referendum will cement Nkurunziza’s grip on power

If the referendum goes President Pierre Nkrunziza's way, it will also be a further blow to ordinary Burundians, who live in a state of hardship and adversity.
Bishop Desmond Tutu during South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. Reuters

Timol inquest opens new door to justice against apartheid atrocities

Inquests into atrocities committed under apartheid are important because many South Africans are beginning to question whether justice was done under the country's truth and reconciliation process.
Turkey may soon become one of the few countries in the history of democracy to vote for the death of democracy. Steve Evans/flickr

Turkey on the verge of democide as referendum looms

If the 'yes' vote prevails in this month's constitutional referendum, the Turkish people may be in the rare position of democratically approving the death of their own democracy.
Ak Orda, the President’s Residence in Astana. Nurseit Niyazbekov

Will oil-rich Kazakhstan ever embrace democracy?

An abundance of natural resources has helped Kazakhstan attract billions in investments. Despite its booming economy, the government is unlikely to move towards democracy any time soon.

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