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January 17 , 2011

Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?


The world is in the throes of a nearly decade-long global democratic recession. Democratic breakdowns in strategically important countries like Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, and Venezuela are cause for serious concern, as are reversals in Turkey and Hungary. Vladimir Putin's revanchist policies in the heart of Europe highlight how domestic democratic setbacks can have serious negative regional reverberations. Is Authoritarianism Staging A Comeback? offers answers to why authoritarianism is gaining on democracy. A score of prominent democracy scholars and activists at leading universities, think tanks, and civil resistance NGOs have written essays for the book on these key questions. Is Authoritarianism Staging A Comeback? also provides advice on what kind of civil resistance efforts will work and why against authoritarianism. With clear evidence of authoritarians learning from one another, there is urgent need to rework old tools and develop new ones to help support local nonviolent civil organizations that are increasingly under pressure. The editors-Mathew Burrows and Maria J. Stephan-are leading an initiative at the Atlantic Council-rated one of the top think tanks globally-on how external actors can reverse authoritarianism's recent gains by boosting democracy's prospects. Is Authoritarianism Staging A Comeback? is one of the first fruits of that effort.
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