CRF Blog

Themes of 2016: across continents, autocrats take control

by Bill Hayes

In Themes of 2016: across continents, autocrats take control for The Guardian, Ian Buruma looks for reasons why “strongmen” leaders have taken power in many countries.

What explains the rise of the strongman, or woman? Why is liberal democracy being tested in so many countries by rightwing demagogues who seem to care very little for the liberal part. Hungary and Poland can no longer be called liberal democracies. Forthcoming elections in France and the Netherlands will show whether an autocratic one-man party (Geert Wilders’s Freedom party), or an illiberal far-right party (Marine Le Pen’s Front National), will cause upsets in western Europe. [more]

For a related free classroom lesson, see “Putin’s Illiberal Democracy.” It is available from  CRF’s Bill of Rights in Action Archive. It is currently only in PDF and you will have to register (if you haven’t already), which is free.