Power 3.0 Podcast | Authoritarian Resurgence, Democratic Resilience

about the podcast

“Power 3.0 | Authoritarian Resurgence, Democratic Resilience” explores cutting-edge research and ideas about authoritarian resurgence, democratic resilience, and other emergent trends in democracy studies, such as disinformation and transnational kleptocracy. Produced by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, the Power 3.0 podcast examines how modern authoritarian regimes like those in China and Russia have in some ways leapfrogged democracies through exploiting aspects of globalization: the interconnected economic and financial system; communication technologies, social media networks and other features of the Internet; international norms and institutions; global media; academic openness and exchange; and culture. Power 3.0 is hosted by NED Vice President for Studies and Analysis Christopher Walker and Senior Director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies Shanthi Kalathil.

For further discussion and resources, visit the Power 3.0 blog, www.power3point0.org

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podcast episodes



In this episode, featured guest Oliver Bullough discusses how transnational kleptocracy—the process by which illicit money is stolen in one location, laundered through anonymous off-shore vehicles, and spent in jurisdictions where it is safe from interference—corrodes democratic and rules-based institutions. Oliver Bullough is an award-winning journalist, author, and commentator, specializing in the former Soviet Union and illicit money flows.



In this episode, featured guest Martin Hala discusses the impact of China’s economic and political investments in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe, revealing these investments’ surprising ability to influence and impact governance institutions in the region and beyond. Martin Hala is a sinologist based in Prague and is founder and director of Sinopsis.cz, an initiative covering topics related to China in the Czech Republic and farther afield.



In this episode of the Power 3.0 podcast, featured guest Samantha Hoffman discusses how China’s authorities, driven by a preemptive concern for managing state security, are employing new technologies to augment authoritarianism, with consequences that extend far beyond China’s borders. Dr. Samantha Hoffman is a Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Cyber Center.



In this episode, featured guest Ronald J. Deibert discusses the dramatic shift in perceptions of social media, which principally have been seen as providing space for free expression, democratic mobilization, and citizen empowerment.  Increasingly, however, a more problematic underside of social media has come into view that may have the effect of fueling authoritarianism. Ronald J. Deibert is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.



In this episode, featured guest Alina Polyakova discusses how authoritarian regimes have bet big on technology—including social media manipulation as well as new applications of artificial intelligence—as a tool to control political debate at home and disrupt democracy abroad. Alina Polyakova is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and an adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in Russian foreign policy, European populism, and U.S.-Russia-Europe relations. 



In this episode, featured guest Andrea Kendall-Taylor reflects on the shifting landscape for democratic governance in Europe and assesses the impact of Russia and China’s authoritarian influence as they converge with one another and with other illiberal actors around the region. Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).


Episode 5: The Intersection of Globalization and Polarization

In this episode, featured guest Moisés Naím discusses how illiberal political actors and authoritarian regimes are leveraging the increasingly complex globalized information space to exploit societal cleavages created by political polarization, employing a problematic mix of media manipulation and disinformation. Moisés Naím is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also the chief international columnist for El País and La Repubblica, Spain and Italy’s largest dailies, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic.


Episode 4: Democracy and the illiberal temptation

In this episode, featured guest Marc F. Plattner discusses the convergence of interests between elected populist leaders and resurgent authoritarians and the ways these actors are exploiting the crisis of confidence in political parties evident in a growing number of democracies to undermine democratic institutions and promote alternative models of governance. Marc F. Plattner is founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and previously served as a vice president for the National Endowment for Democracy.


Episode 3: The Evolution of China’s Belt and Road

In this episode of the Power 3.0 podcast, featured guest Nadège Rolland traces the trajectory of China’s Belt and Road Initiative since its launch in 2013, with a particular emphasis on understanding Beijing’s priorities and the underlying strategic objectives accompanying its marketed emphasis on overseas infrastructure development. Nadège Rolland is a senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and author of the book, China’s Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (2017).


Episode 2: New Frontiers in Digital Censorship

In this episode of the Power 3.0 podcast, featured guest Glenn Tiffert explores how structural and technological shifts in the global information environment—enabled by algorithms, artificial intelligence, and private sector hosting services—are creating new opportunities for authoritarian regimes such as China to censor and manipulate information at the source. Glenn also identifies opportunities that the academic community and other information users can pursue to protect the authenticity and integrity of digital information and its sources. Glenn Tiffert is a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.


EPISODE 1: China and the Global Challenge to Democracy

In this inaugural episode, featured guest Larry Diamond discusses the implications of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to influence and interfere in the public, civic, and social institutions of democracies, including subnational governments, universities, think tanks, media, corporations, and ethnic Chinese communities. Larry Diamond is coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.