Globalization has enabled authoritarian governments to exert increasing influence within the democracies. This engagement has involved efforts at censorship, or the use of manipulation to sap the integrity of independent institutions. This “sharp power” has the effect of limiting free expression and distorting the political environment. As part of any response, democracies should use their natural competitive advantage and engage civil society to combat sharp power, rather than attempting to engage in equally intrusive campaigns. Kalathil argues that democracies must “rethink how [they] can most effectively project their voices and define their values.”
The International Forum explores the cognitive factors that make audiences vulnerable to disinformation, technological factors driving the consumption and spread of disinformation, and the implications of disinformation’s “demand side” for the democratic response.
Dean Jackson of the International Forum spoke with Vidushi Marda about the applications of iterative machine learning and how civil society can best contribute to the development of a human rights-conscious framework for AI technology.
The July 2018 issue of Democracy Research News highlights regional research from NDRI members around the world. To submit comments or to inquire about joining the Network, please write to Melissa Aten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Aten of the International Forum spoke with Zimbabwean lawyer and constitutional expert Alex Magaisa about new political dynamics and what they mean for the future of Zimbabwe in the context of the July 2018 elections.