CRF Blog

Modern Democracy Has Plenty of Trump Precedents

by Bill Hayes

In Modern Democracy Has Plenty of Trump Precedents, Bloomberg Businessweek looks at similar leaders in other democratic states.

Instead, it’s better to study the slew of elected autocracies that have taken over developing nations during the past decade — and touched richer countries such as Italy, Hungary, and Poland. According to the monitoring group Freedom House, democracy has been on the decline worldwide since the late 2000s, with the rise of elected autocrats — legitimately elected leaders who then undermine democratic institutions and culture — a major reason for freedom’s ebb. These elected autocrats include people on the left of the spectrum, such as former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, as well as right-leaning leaders such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who dominates Poland’s current ruling Law and Justice Party.

Many of these elected autocrats had little or no government experience before winning national elections. [more]