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Democracy in the new geopolitics


"Democratic states and institutions are under increasing strain from a potent combination of external and internal challenges. Externally, a revanchist though economically diminished Russia is pressuring the West through its conventional and hybrid military capabilities and through savvy manipulation operations. Putin has seized Crimea, destabilized Ukraine, intervened in Syria, and meddled in U.S. and European elections. A resurgent and far more powerful China is advancing its political, economic, and military influence regionally and globally. Beijing has escalated its pursuit of territorial claims in its maritime domain and is using its economic clout to pressure political systems from East Asia to Europe. These developments are illustrative of a new era of geopolitics, which, at its heart, involves competition over internal political systems."

Why is this important?

"These consequential trends leave democracy, and the future of the international order, in a contested state of flux. Previous eras characterized by a recession of powerful liberal states—read: the 1920s and 1930s—proved catastrophic not only for democracy around the world, but also for economic prosperity, global peace, and stability. We are far from this reality, but we must pay close attention to trends that would move us further down that road."


Torey Taussig
Bruce Jones

Publication Date

March 22, 2018