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“After almost a year of living under the cloud of the pandemic, it is clear that even poor Asian countries managed COVID-19 far better than the United States and Europe. But whether 2020 thus marked the beginning of a new "Asian Century" still remains to be seen” (Bill Emmott, 2020)
“The “freedom to be free,” as Hannah Arendt put it, is a privilege that, globally, very few have the pleasure to enjoy: The world is full of people who are economically advanced, but politically repressed. That’s why it’s vital to make a renewed case for human rights” (Jochen Bittner, 2020).
“Facebook has been incredibly lucrative for its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who ranks among the wealthiest men in the world. But it’s been a disaster for the world itself, a powerful vector for paranoia, propaganda and conspiracy-theorizing as well as authoritarian crackdowns and vicious attacks on the free press. Wherever it goes, chaos and destabilization follow” (Jamelle Bouie, 2020).
“The rise of right-wing populist leaders in several countries has brought immense attention to the use of executive power, in popular debate and among constitutional scholars across presidential and parliamentary systems. Along with the rise of executive power, there has been a corresponding but less studied phenomenon: the decline in judicial power” (Madhav Khosla, 2020).
“The protests in Belarus should force us to rethink the relationship between the pandemic and authoritarianism. Does the virus infect our societies with authoritarian governance or, alternatively, can it strengthen democratic immunity?” (Ivan Krastev, 2020).
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).
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).
“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).
“The West must not fall back into its previous pattern of easing up on sanctions after securing a prisoner release—not least because there are still more than 500 political prisoners in Lukashenko’s prisons, according to the Human Rights Center Viasna” (Kobets and Kramer, 2021).
“It’s a cliché that China’s rise is “unstoppable,”...the corollary is that the world will simply have to acquiesce to its burgeoning list of demands, including its maritime claims to the South China Sea and reunification (if necessary, by force) with Taiwan...but appearances of strength tend to obscure realities of weakness” (Stephens 2021).
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