Online Exclusives

Breaking out of Xi’s Great Prison (December 2022)
Chinese citizens from Urumqi to Shanghai took to the streets, blank sheets of white paper in hand, to denounce the CCP and call for change. Xi Jinping’s repression and zero-covid lockdowns has united the public in empathy and anger.

By Guoguang Wu

How Qatar Became a World Leader in Sportswashing (November 2022)
The government has spent billions preparing to host the 2022 World Cup. Never mind the abusive labor practices and human rights violations. It’s betting that your love of the “beautiful game” will make you more fond of this tiny Gulf state, too.

By Sarath K. Ganji

Why Sanctions Don’t Work Against Dictatorships (November 2022)
From Putin’s invasion to Kim’s nuclear saber rattling, the West has punished the world’s worst regimes. But have sanctions missed their targets?

By Agathe Demarais

Why TikTok Is a Threat to Democracy (November 2022)
The popular Chinese-owned app is enabling Beijing to collect data on people nearly everywhere. Not only can such platforms track people’s preferences and whereabouts, but they give the Chinese government control over a powerful tool for shaping people’s worldview.

By Aynne Kokas

Democracy’s Frontline Defenders (October 2022)
Across the globe, the people who run our elections are being undermined, targeted, and attacked. Here is how to shore them up—and protect democratic institutions, too.

By Fernanda Buril and Erica Shein

For Xi Jinping, the Economy Is No Longer the Priority (October 2022)
Beijing’s focus has been on strong and steady economic growth for decades. But China’s leader has just put an end to that era. For Xi, it’s only about power—at home and abroad.

By Guoguong Wu

Why Ukraine’s Millions of Displaced People Will Define Its Future (October 2022)
Most are Russian speakers from the east, and once harbored sympathies for Moscow. If the country embraces them, they could form the bedrock of a free and open Ukrainian society.

By Danilo Mandić

Why Don’t Voters Care About Local Government? (October 2022)
National politics is increasingly overshadowing everything else, even as local government does more and more. Here’s how to right the balance.

By Eguiar Lizundia and Utpal Misra

Why Women Are Leading the Fight in Iran (September 2022)
Iran’s women were the Islamic Republic’s first target for repression. This is the newest chapter in their struggle to win back their rights.

By Ladan Boroumand

Putin’s Big Gamble (September 2022)
The Kremlin’s order to call up Russians to fight in Ukraine risks massive protests. It’s the riskiest decision of Putin’s rule, and it could lead to his undoing.

By Robert Person

Iran Erupts (September 2022)
Iranians are protesting their regime. Why it will only get worse for the mullahs.

By Peyman Asadzade

Gorbachev’s Enduring Legacy (September 2022)
The last Soviet leader brought down his regime and ended the Cold War. The free world owes him a debt of gratitude.

By Lucan Ahmad Way

Why Ukraine Will Win (September 2022)
The country’s military is advancing on the battlefield. If Ukraine defeats Russia’s massive army, the ripple effects will be felt across the globe.

By Francis Fukuyama

The Man Who Dared to Change the World (August 2022)
Mikhail Gorbachev risked everything. Neither Russia nor the West could live up to his vision.

By Lilia Shevtsova

Aid Distribution in Kyiv

Drowning Democracy (August 2022)
Afghanistan taught us that a firehose of unaccountable aid can destroy a country’s democratic future. In Ukraine, we are making the same mistake all over again.

By Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Nataliia Shapoval

Why Pakistan Always Seems on the Brink of Collapse (August 2022)
The military has spent decades trying to impose order on Pakistani politics. It has led to chaos.

By Ahsan I. Butt

The Curse of the Ex-Presidents (July 2022)
Across Latin America, former leaders are keeping a chokehold on their countries’ politics. It’s time their successors break free.

By Casey Cagley

The Life of the Party (July 2022)
Establishment parties are flagging. They should learn from political disruptors.

By Patrick Quirk and Jan Surotchak

Democracy’s Most Dangerous Assumptions (June 2022)
It is tempting to believe the horrors of the past will not haunt our future. Vladimir Putin is proving that we hold such beliefs at our peril.

By Daniel Fried

Why Putin Must Be Defeated (May 2022)
The more determined democracies are to avoid war, the greater the risk that autocracies will wage it.

By Andrei Kozyrev

How Putin’s War in Ukraine Has Ruined Russia (May 2022)
In a matter of weeks, the Russian autocrat has erased his country’s prosperity in a feckless attempt to rebuild a doomed empire.

By Kathryn Stoner

Putin’s Incredible Shrinking Victory Parade (May 2022)
How does a Russian autocrat celebrate Victory Day while losing a war? Expect lies, myths, and propaganda.

By Olexiy Minakov

Defeating Putin in Ukraine Is Vital to the Future of Democracy (May 2022)
Why we must tackle the threat posed by Putin and his authoritarianism head on.

By David J. Kramer

A Dangerous Façade (April 2022)
Marine Le Pen has remade her image to obscure her far-right populism. There is a real risk French voters won’t see through it.

By Agneska Bloch

Save la République! (April 2022)
Why Emmanuel Macron’s reelection hangs on him winning support from the very people he has ignored most.

By Moshik Temkin

Will Putin Outlast the War? (April 2022)
Russia’s autocrat may be weakened, but his grip on power is greater than many people realize.

By Maria Snegovaya

Why Putin’s Days Are Numbered (March 2022)
The system that Russia’s autocrat built wasn’t designed to survive the pressures it is now facing.

By Vladimir Milov

Ukraine Belongs in the EU (March 2022)
Ukraine doesn’t just deserve EU membership. Its bid could revive and reunify Europe.

By Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova

The Rebirth of the Liberal World Order? (March 2022)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given the world’s democrats a renewed sense of unity and purpose. Putin’s reckless gamble may unexpectedly strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond.

By Lucan Ahmad Way

Ukraine’s Information Warriors (March 2022)
Russian rockets are targeting Ukrainian journalists’ ability to report the news, but the country’s media is finding new ways to stay on the air.

By Marta Dyczok

What Putin Fears Most (February 2022)
Forget his excuses. Russia’s autocrat doesn’t worry about NATO. What terrifies him is the prospect of a flourishing Ukrainian democracy.

By Robert Person and Michael McFaul

Dangerous Diplomacy: Why Placating Putin Now Could Doom Ukrainian Democracy Later (February 2022)
If the West forces Kyiv to accept Putin’s diplomatic terms, he will have succeeded without firing a shot.

By Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova

A Dictator’s Day in Court (February 2022)
Tunisia’s president is looking to strengthen his chokehold on the country.

By Nate Grubman

Kazakhstan Rules with Empty Words and an Iron Fist (January 2022)
Thousands took to the streets to protest. While the regime promises to listen, its actions make clear: Dissent will not be tolerated.

By Paolo Sorbello

How Democracy Can Win Out in Sudan (November 2021)
The country just got a new chance to restore its democratic transition. Here’s how they can ensure that Sudan stays on the right path.

By Sharan Grewal