Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy

April 14, 2016
12:00 pm - 02:00 pm

About the Event

Over the past decade, illiberal powers have become emboldened and gained influence within the global arena. Leading authoritarian countries―including China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela―have developed new tools and strategies to contain the spread of democracy and challenge the liberal international political order. Meanwhile, the advanced democracies of Europe and the United States have retreated and failed to respond to the threat posed by the authoritarians. As undemocratic regimes become more assertive, they are working together to repress civil society while tightening their grip on cyberspace and expanding their reach in international media. These political changes have fostered the emergence of new counternorms―such as the authoritarian subversion of credible election monitoring―that threaten to further erode the global standing of liberal democracy. These complicated trends are examined in Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy, a new Journal of Democracy book edited by Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, and Christopher Walker. 


moderated by

  • Marc F. Plattner, Journal of Democracy

National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004

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About the Speakers

 William Dobson is the chief international editor at NPR, where he manages a team of correspondents across the globe committed to delivering powerful stories and authoritative reporting on international politics, economics, and culture.  Prior to joining NPR, Dobson was Slate magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, overseeing the magazine’s coverage of politics, jurisprudence, and international news. Dobson led the magazine’s award-winning coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election and expanded the magazine’s team of reporters, bloggers, and columnists.   Dobson is the author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy, which examines the struggle between authoritarian regimes and the people who challenge them. It was selected as one of the “best books of 2012” by Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, The Telegraph, and Prospect.

Fred Hiatt has been the editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Post since 2000. He began working for the Post as a reporter in 1981. From 1991 to 1995, he and his wife served as correspondents and co-bureau chiefs in the Moscow bureau, covering Russia and the former Soviet Union. From 1987 to 1990, the Hiatts were co-bureau chiefs of The Post’s Northeast Asia bureau, based in Tokyo, and reported on Korea and Japan. Before joining the foreign staff of The Washington Post, Hiatt covered military and national security affairs for three years as a member of the newspaper’s national staff.

Christopher Walker is vice president for studies and analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy. In this capacity, he oversees the department that is responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work, which includes the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of democratic development. Prior to joining the NED, Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House. He also previously served as a senior associate at the EastWest Institute, and program manager at the European Journalism Network.

Marc F. Plattner is founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and cochair of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies. Until 2016, when he reduced his schedule to part time, he also served as NED’s vice president for research and studies. From 1984 to 1989, he was NED’s director of program. Over the past two decades, he has coedited with Larry Diamond more than two dozen books on contemporary issues relating to democracy in the Journal of Democracy book series, including Democracy in Decline? (2015) and Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World (2014). He is the author of Democracy without Borders: Challenges to Liberal Democracy (2008) and Rousseau’s State of Nature (1979).