The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy

By William J. Dobson

In this riveting anatomy of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us contained in the conflict among dictators and those that may problem their rule. contemporary heritage has noticeable an important second within the struggle among dictators and democracy—with waves of protests sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots falling in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. however the Arab Spring is barely the newest entrance in an international conflict among freedom and repression, a conflict that, until eventually lately, dictators were profitable hands-down. the matter is that today’s authoritarians usually are not just like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regimes of Burma and North Korea. they're ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and the world over hooked up, and feature changed extra brutal varieties of intimidation with refined coercion. The Dictator’s studying Curve explains this ancient second and gives the most important perception into the struggle for democracy.

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Whereas the recent structure had banned public financing for political events, the prohibition was once simply utilized opposed to the competition. govt ministries brazenly flouted the ban, pouring hundreds of thousands of greenbacks into pro-Chávez banners, leaflets, and billboards, in addition to sending kingdom staff to canvass for the president. even supposing the proof is on each road nook, the nationwide Electoral Council doesn’t say a observe. in response to Electoral Eye, an election watchdog workforce, up to 30 percentage of Chávez’s February 2009 crusade to get rid of all time period limits—opening the way in which for him to be president for life—was paid for through govt ministries and public associations.

Whereas China’s measurement and complexity pose a ways larger demanding situations than a city-state like Singapore, Pan believes the emerging criteria for chinese language officials—the examinations, value determinations, rotations, education, and so on—have set the rustic at the correct course. “The chinese language governing physique is the youngest within the world,” says Pan, concerning the stern time period limits and age-mandated retirement that continue turnover excessive. “How may perhaps you get to the head sooner than you're too previous? That’s pageant. ” but when China has one other archetype as outdated because the virtuous Confucian student who administers properly, it really is most likely the tyrannical neighborhood respectable who terrorizes the folks, secure within the wisdom that the emperor and his courtroom are too a long way got rid of to do whatever approximately it.

You begin pondering, ‘Well, issues can’t proceed as earlier than. I not have a capability to have a monopoly over details. ’ you begin spotting the significance of transparency. now not unavoidably since you are an open guy, yet to maintain your strength. only for useful, pragmatic purposes, you want to. ” the former ten years were tumultuous for the regime. Political protests, sparked via Israel’s bombing of the West financial institution and the U. S. battle in Iraq, broke out in Cairo’s streets and speedy boomeranged into demonstrations opposed to the Egyptian govt.

He used to be going to the U.S.. protection for Cairo overseas Airport is equipped by means of cops from Cairo important safeguard. thankfully for Afifi, he knew a number of officials from prior in his occupation who now labored on the airport. He arrived on the airport past due within the night on April eleven. considered one of his fellow law enforcement officials took his passport; he may get it stamped with out dealing with the authentic method. The others acquired Afifi via protection and advised him to attend at a unique gate, now not the only for his flight.

A diplomat on the Egyptian embassy in Washington sniggered whilst he mentioned how that they had performed at the former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s vainness to get him to lend his identify as president of the council. The council, besides the fact that, did count number a few severe and real human rights advocates between its twenty-five individuals. (I interviewed numerous individuals of the council, they usually mostly agreed that 8 to 10 in their colleagues have been actually devoted to human rights paintings; the remainder have been a hodgepodge of opportunists and regime loyalists.

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