When the Soviet Union collapsed, many celebrated the triumph of Western liberal democracy. As political scientist Francis Fukuyama argued in his daringly titled essay, “The End of History?” in 1989, no other form of governance could possibly rival the Western model. Less than three decades later, however, democratic ideals around the world are under assault. As Thorsten Benner explains in Foreign Affairs, newly emboldened authoritarian regimes are taking advantage of Western democracies’ open economies and internal political divisions to nudge them toward illiberalism. In a concise analysis outlining the motivations and influencing tactics of totalitarian governments, Benner offers a series of recommendations on how democracies can inoculate themselves from these attacks.
About the Author
Thorsten Benner is director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin.