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More and more autocrats are “forced to rely on ever starker forms of repression: they still hold periodic elections...but they do not even pretend that these empty rituals are free or fair. The result has been the proliferation of what might be called “zombie democracies”—the living dead of electoral political systems” (Kenneth Roth, 2021).
“A democracy summit is not a democracy strategy. Translating Biden’s rhetorical emphasis on democracy support into a meaningful plank of his foreign policy will require his team to grapple head-on with several thorny dilemmas” (Brown and Carothers, 2021).
A new report, ‘Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support’, highlights how some governments are using the public health crisis to further curtail democratic activities and provides recommendations for policymakers and civil society to counteract the negative impacts of Covid-19 on democracy.
This article explores how going “soft” on China is not the way that the United States and Progressives should approach climate action on climate change and the environment (Isaac Stone Fish, 2021).
“Like many Indigenous peoples around the world, the Māori have developed their understanding of their environment through close observation of the landscape and its behaviors over the course of many generations. Now the New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency regularly looks for ways to integrate traditional Māori knowledge, or mātauranga, into its decision-making” (Cernansky 2021).
The interviewee argues that “populism is really not just about criticizing élites or being somehow against the establishment. In fact, any old civics textbook would have told us up until recently that being critical of the powerful is actually a civic virtue” and now there is a sense that “this could actually somehow be dangerous for democracy” (Chotiner 2021).
“In an era plagued by erratic and swaggering strongmen like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Narendra Modi, and Jair Bolsonaro, Merkel provided a model of rational, steadfast leadership... she has undeniably been the de facto leader of the EU. But what kind of leadership has she provided for the European project?” (Matthijs and Kelemen, 2021).
“Advocates hope that this renewed focus on nuclear energy will yield technological progress and lower costs. But when it comes to averting the imminent effects of climate change, even the cutting edge of nuclear technology will prove to be too little, too late” (Macfarlane 2021).
This article makes the case that as “a public utility, Google search would have to give others a better shot. Those searching would get results that are not skewed to Google, and the marketplace would be a bit more competitive” (Dave Yost, 2021).
“Feeling optimistic about the state of American politics is hard….but we can’t forget how much worse things could be right now—and what a major achievement it was for Joe Biden to have defeated Donald Trump. America booted an authoritarian populist from office in a free and fair election at the conclusion of his first term” (Yascha Mounk, 2021).
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