Journal of Democracy January 2019 Issue: The Road to Digital Unfreedom

How are new digital technologies transforming the arsenal of authoritarianism—and reshaping democratic politics?

The Journal of Democracy‘s January 2019 issue features a set of four articles examining the growing threat of digital repression:

  • An overview essay by Larry Diamond outlines the ways in which new technologies are threatening to undermine democracy, and even to foster “postmodern totalitarianism”;
  • Ronald J. Deibert explores the “personal-data surveillance economy” underlying social media;
  • Steven Feldstein highlights the dangers posed by the proliferation and abuse of artificial intelligence;
  • Xiao Qiang explains how Chinese authorities are harnessing advanced digital technologies to build a comprehensive system of monitoring and control.

Also in the January 2019 issue:

  • Will right-of-center politicians and intellectuals join Hungary’s Viktor Orbán in his embrace of “illiberal democracy”? Marc F. Plattner analyzes the emerging struggle on the political right.
  • How did Brazil’s democracy pave the way for the rise of Jair Bolsonaro? Wendy Hunter and Timothy J. Power investigate the far-right populist’s path to the presidency.
  • Does India’s BJP government pose a threat to pluralistic democracy? Sumit Ganguly and Swapan Dasgupta offer contrasting views.


For the complete Table of Contents, visit