15 de janeiro de 2014

The Atlantic: Will the World Grow More Authoritarian in 2014?

The British journalist Peter Pomerantsev, for instance, has argued that Putin is running a “postmodern dictatorship” by taking "a liquid, shape-shifting approach to power" and using “techniques of democracy for distinctly undemocratic ends.” Hence dressing up a propaganda vehicle like RT with all the trappings of a modern news outlet, or co-opting rather than suppressing the messages of activists like Alexei Navalny "until there is no more space for an opposition to exist in." Kurt Weyland, a Latin America expert, has similarly warned that populist, Hugo Chavez-inspired "soft" and "competitive" authoritarianism with an “attractive face” is taking root in the region (Bolivian President Evo Morales, one of the attractive faces cited by Weyland, is up for reelection in October). (…) "Over the past decade at least, we've seen a modest improvement in the quality of elections around the world, even as we've seen declines in freedom of the press, rule of law, and freedom of association," Arch Puddington, vice president for research at Freedom House, told me. (…) "And I see no reason to predict a change in that because it's working," he added, "and because in China and Russia in particular, and even in Venezuela and countries like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, if anything these regimes are fine-tuning their methods, not liberalizing them."