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Articles on Autocracy

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Ukrainian soldiers take positions in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 25, 2022 after Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Would Vladimir Putin actually be able to rule Ukraine?

Even if Vladimir Putin wins in Ukraine, he won’t be able to govern Ukrainians as he pleases. That’s because power is perceived very differently by Russians and Ukrainians.
The Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in August 2021, without major opposition. Photo by Mohd Rasfan /AFP via Getty Image

Taliban 2.0 aren’t so different from the first regime, after all

Four months after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, a clearer picture of their rule is emerging. Despite public assurances, the Taliban continue to violate human rights.
Police arrest a protester at a Moscow rally in support of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who fell ill while in prison and is now hospitalized. Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images

For Vladimir Putin and other autocrats, ruthlessly repressing the opposition is often a winning way to stay in power

There’s not much the world can do to stop authoritarian rulers from persecuting their political opponents, as shown by the standoff over Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is ill and imprisoned.
Despite voter dissatisfaction with the Republican and Democratic parties, they are likely to persist. Shutterstock/Victor Moussa

The two-party system is here to stay

Despite the fact that only 38% of Americans say they think the Democratic and Republican parties are doing ‘an adequate job,’ they’re unlikely to disappear.
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.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro created a new cryptocurrency called the ‘Petro’ to combat hyperinflation. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Is authoritarianism bad for the economy? Ask Venezuela – or Hungary or Turkey

When an elected leader turns autocratic, the economy tends to suffer. That’s because, in a functioning democracy, economic policy is made jointly, with lawmakers playing a key role.
Police stand guard in front of the Correctional Centre N.3, where Kem Sokha is reportedly being held. Reuters/Samrang Pring

Violent politics and the disintegration of democracy in Cambodia

The treason charges against Cambodia’s opposition leader Kem Sokha are another step towards autocracy in the kingdom of wonder.

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