Online Exclusives

Why the Defenders of Liberal Democracy Need to Stand Up (August 2023)
If liberal norms and institutions are to prevail, they need to be defended from the left and the right.

By Ghia Nodia

Why Ukraine Is Critical to Rebuilding Our Democratic Consensus
(July 2023)
The case for liberal democracy remains powerful. It may get its biggest boost in the near term from success on the battlefields of Ukraine.

By Marc F. Plattner

What It Takes to Win the New Cold War with China
(July 2023)
Our struggle against the Soviet Union offers vital lessons for how to confront the aggressive totalitarian threat that Beijing now represents.

By Carl Gershman

Why the German Far Right Is Beginning to Win
(July 2023)
For years, they were a fringe vote. Now they are broadening their agenda, tapping into voter frustration, and getting Germans to favor them once again.

By Michael Bröning

Inside the Fight to Save Israeli Democracy (July 2023)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the public to see his efforts to overhaul the Israeli judiciary as a “reform.” But people have seen it for what it is: a struggle over the very future of democracy itself.

By Natan Sachs

Why He May Soon Be Remembered as “Putin the Weak” (June 2023)
The Russian autocrat wanted to go down in history on par with Russia’s greatest leaders. He is increasingly looking like one of its weakest.

By Michael McFaul

This is Not the End of Putin’s Troubles (June 2023)
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion has exposed the fundamental instability of Putinism.

By Kathryn Stoner

Putin Just Learned Why You Don’t Trust Mercenaries (June 2023)
The Russian autocrat forgot an age-old truth about working with common criminals and soldiers for hire.

By Zoltan Barany

Putin’s Formula for Ruling Russia Is Failing (June 2023)
The Russian autocrat’s system of control has rested on pillars that are beginning to crumble.

By Robert Person

What Does a Humiliated Putin Mean for Russia? (June 2023)
While widespread violence or civil war was averted, the consequences for Russia—and Putin—could be grave.

By Timothy J. Colton

Believe Nothing Putin or Prigozhin Tell You (June 2023)
In the days ahead, the West must remain calm—and redouble its support for Ukraine.

By Andrei Kozyrev

Has Liberalism Failed? (May 2023)
Our rising levels of inequality have put its ideals in crisis. These are the simple principles that can help bring it back from the edge.

By Thomas F. Remington

Ecuador’s Democratic Breakdown (May 2023)
The small Latin American country was a brief democratic bright spot. But it appears to have fallen victim to a clash between populists and anti-populists, without a democrat in sight.

By Will Freeman

What the Freedom Agenda Can Still Teach Us (May 2023)
Many derided it as naïve idealism, but the vision undergirding the Freedom Agenda offers lessons for the biggest global tests of our time.

By Peter Feaver and William Inboden

How Thai Activists Outsmarted the Generals (May 2023)
The regime tilted the playing field to its advantage, but it didn’t matter. Thailand’s opposition won with creativity, shrewd tactics, and a strategy that united the people.

By Srdja Popovic and Steve Parks

7 Lessons from Turkey’s Effort to Beat a Populist Autocrat (May 2023)
What the opposition did and how Erdoğan managed to escape outright defeat.

By Murat Somer and Jennifer McCoy

Why the French Strike (May 2023)
Why are the French protesting this time? Emmanuel Macron is imposing deeply unpopular reforms, and it’s one of the only ways left to check an arrogant and tone deaf president.

By Moshik Temkin

Thailand’s Revolutionary Election (May 2023)
Thailand’s voters — especially its young people — have sent the country’s junta a message: They want change now. But will the military listen?

By Dan Slater

Is Erdoğan on His Way Out? (May 2023)
The Turkish president came to power as an antiestablishment everyman. Twenty years later he is an authoritarian leader clinging to power. Will the forces that catapulted him to power be his demise?

By Philip Balboni

How Maduro Survived (March 2023)
The Venezuelan dictator defied sanctions, international isolation, and massive protests. He appears to have a firmer footing than he’s had in years. Now what?

By Will Freeman

Putin’s War of Recolonization (March 2023)
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t just another land grab. It’s an attempt to recolonize lost empire, and threatens to return us to the age of conquest.

By Renée de Nevers and Brian D. Taylor

How Women Make the World Safe for Democracy (March 2023)
The suffragists imagined that a greater role for women in democratic politics would lead to a more peaceful world. Few realize how right they were.

By Joslyn N. Barnhart and Robert F. Trager

Why Vladimir Putin’s Luck Ran Out  (February 2023)
For twenty years, the Russian autocrat enjoyed a string of good fortune in coming to power and cementing his rule. He had raised Russia’s standing in the world. Then he invaded Ukraine.

By Michael McFaul

How the World Stands Up to Putin (February 2023)
His military didn’t just fail. Ordinary Ukrainians, Russians, and people across the globe are creatively and nonviolently protesting Putin’s war on Ukraine, and they are making a difference.

By Srdja Popovic and Steve Parks

Putin’s Other Failed War (January 2023)
The Russian leader declared war on his country’s independent journalists. But Russian media outsmarted him by taking their operations overseas. They are now reaching more people than ever before.

By Roman Badanin

The (Final) Rise of Anwar Ibrahim (December 2022)
The democratic icon’s path to prime minister has been tortuous and long. But is Malaysia’s pluralism slipping away precisely when Anwar is getting his shot to lead the nation?

By Sophie Lemière

Breaking Han Silence (December 2022)
China’s recent protests marked a crucial milestone: The mainstream Chinese public, at home and abroad, finally spoke up for the Uyghurs and their plight.

By Tenzin Dorjee

After a Wave of Protests, China’s Silent Crackdown (December 2022)
Nationwide protests against Xi Jinping’s zero-covid policy caught the Chinese Communist Party off-guard. Expect the Party’s security apparatus to strike back with quiet precision.

By Sheena Chestnut Greitens

Breaking out of Xi’s Great Prison (December 2022)
Chinese citizens from Urumqi to Shanghai took to the streets, blank sheets of white paper in hand, to denounce the CCP and call for change. Xi Jinping’s repression and zero-covid lockdowns has united the public in empathy and anger.

By Guoguang Wu

How Qatar Became a World Leader in Sportswashing (November 2022)
The government has spent billions preparing to host the 2022 World Cup. Never mind the abusive labor practices and human rights violations. It’s betting that your love of the “beautiful game” will make you more fond of this tiny Gulf state, too.

By Sarath K. Ganji

Why Sanctions Don’t Work Against Dictatorships (November 2022)
From Putin’s invasion to Kim’s nuclear saber rattling, the West has punished the world’s worst regimes. But have sanctions missed their targets?

By Agathe Demarais

Why TikTok Is a Threat to Democracy (November 2022)
The popular Chinese-owned app is enabling Beijing to collect data on people nearly everywhere. Not only can such platforms track people’s preferences and whereabouts, but they give the Chinese government control over a powerful tool for shaping people’s worldview.

By Aynne Kokas

Democracy’s Frontline Defenders (October 2022)
Across the globe, the people who run our elections are being undermined, targeted, and attacked. Here is how to shore them up—and protect democratic institutions, too.

By Fernanda Buril and Erica Shein

For Xi Jinping, the Economy Is No Longer the Priority (October 2022)
Beijing’s focus has been on strong and steady economic growth for decades. But China’s leader has just put an end to that era. For Xi, it’s only about power—at home and abroad.

By Guoguong Wu

Why Ukraine’s Millions of Displaced People Will Define Its Future (October 2022)
Most are Russian speakers from the east, and once harbored sympathies for Moscow. If the country embraces them, they could form the bedrock of a free and open Ukrainian society.

By Danilo Mandić

Why Don’t Voters Care About Local Government? (October 2022)
National politics is increasingly overshadowing everything else, even as local government does more and more. Here’s how to right the balance.

By Eguiar Lizundia and Utpal Misra

Why Women Are Leading the Fight in Iran (September 2022)
Iran’s women were the Islamic Republic’s first target for repression. This is the newest chapter in their struggle to win back their rights.

By Ladan Boroumand

Putin’s Big Gamble (September 2022)
The Kremlin’s order to call up Russians to fight in Ukraine risks massive protests. It’s the riskiest decision of Putin’s rule, and it could lead to his undoing.

By Robert Person

Iran Erupts (September 2022)
Iranians are once again flooding the streets in protest. How is this wave of demonstrations different?

By Peyman Asadzade

Gorbachev’s Enduring Legacy (September 2022)
The last Soviet leader brought down his regime and ended the Cold War. The free world owes him a debt of gratitude.

By Lucan Ahmad Way

Why Ukraine Will Win (September 2022)
The country’s military is advancing on the battlefield. If Ukraine defeats Russia’s massive army, the ripple effects will be felt across the globe.

By Francis Fukuyama

The Man Who Dared to Change the World (August 2022)
Mikhail Gorbachev risked everything. Neither Russia nor the West could live up to his vision.

By Lilia Shevtsova

Aid Distribution in Kyiv

Drowning Democracy (August 2022)
Afghanistan taught us that a firehose of unaccountable aid can destroy a country’s democratic future. In Ukraine, we are making the same mistake all over again.

By Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Nataliia Shapoval

Why Pakistan Always Seems on the Brink of Collapse (August 2022)
The military has spent decades trying to impose order on Pakistani politics. It has led to chaos.

By Ahsan I. Butt

The Curse of the Ex-Presidents (July 2022)
Across Latin America, former leaders are keeping a chokehold on their countries’ politics. It’s time their successors break free.

By Casey Cagley

The Life of the Party (July 2022)
Establishment parties are flagging. They should learn from political disruptors.

By Patrick Quirk and Jan Surotchak

Democracy’s Most Dangerous Assumptions (June 2022)
It is tempting to believe the horrors of the past will not haunt our future. Vladimir Putin is proving that we hold such beliefs at our peril.

By Daniel Fried

Why Putin Must Be Defeated (May 2022)
The more determined democracies are to avoid war, the greater the risk that autocracies will wage it.

By Andrei Kozyrev

How Putin’s War in Ukraine Has Ruined Russia (May 2022)
In a matter of weeks, the Russian autocrat has erased his country’s prosperity in a feckless attempt to rebuild a doomed empire.

By Kathryn Stoner

Putin’s Incredible Shrinking Victory Parade (May 2022)
How does a Russian autocrat celebrate Victory Day while losing a war? Expect lies, myths, and propaganda.

By Olexiy Minakov

Defeating Putin in Ukraine Is Vital to the Future of Democracy (May 2022)
Why we must tackle the threat posed by Putin and his authoritarianism head on.

By David J. Kramer

A Dangerous Façade (April 2022)
Marine Le Pen has remade her image to obscure her far-right populism. There is a real risk French voters won’t see through it.

By Agneska Bloch

Save la République! (April 2022)
Why Emmanuel Macron’s reelection hangs on him winning support from the very people he has ignored most.

By Moshik Temkin

Will Putin Outlast the War? (April 2022)
Russia’s autocrat may be weakened, but his grip on power is greater than many people realize.

By Maria Snegovaya

Why Putin’s Days Are Numbered (March 2022)
The system that Russia’s autocrat built wasn’t designed to survive the pressures it is now facing.

By Vladimir Milov

Ukraine Belongs in the EU (March 2022)
Ukraine doesn’t just deserve EU membership. Its bid could revive and reunify Europe.

By Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova

The Rebirth of the Liberal World Order? (March 2022)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given the world’s democrats a renewed sense of unity and purpose. Putin’s reckless gamble may unexpectedly strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond.

By Lucan Ahmad Way

Ukraine’s Information Warriors (March 2022)
Russian rockets are targeting Ukrainian journalists’ ability to report the news, but the country’s media is finding new ways to stay on the air.

By Marta Dyczok

What Putin Fears Most (February 2022)
Forget his excuses. Russia’s autocrat doesn’t worry about NATO. What terrifies him is the prospect of a flourishing Ukrainian democracy.

By Robert Person and Michael McFaul

Dangerous Diplomacy: Why Placating Putin Now Could Doom Ukrainian Democracy Later (February 2022)
If the West forces Kyiv to accept Putin’s diplomatic terms, he will have succeeded without firing a shot.

By Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova

A Dictator’s Day in Court (February 2022)
Tunisia’s president is looking to strengthen his chokehold on the country.

By Nate Grubman

Kazakhstan Rules with Empty Words and an Iron Fist (January 2022)
Thousands took to the streets to protest. While the regime promises to listen, its actions make clear: Dissent will not be tolerated.

By Paolo Sorbello

How Democracy Can Win Out in Sudan (November 2021)
The country just got a new chance to restore its democratic transition. Here’s how they can ensure that Sudan stays on the right path.

By Sharan Grewal