Authoritarian trendsetters’ antidemocratic toolkit



Authoritarian trendsetters have created a modern antidemocratic toolkit that in many ways serves as the mirror image of democratic soft power, the National Endowment for Democracy’s Christopher Walker writes in “The Hijacking of ‘Soft Power’“:

It includes government-organized nongovernmental organizations (GONGOs), ‘zombie’ election monitoring, foreign aid and investment, and both traditional- and new-media enterprises. The leading authoritarian governments have established a wide constellation of regime-friendly GONGOs, including think tanks and policy institutes that operate at home and abroad. Some of these groups are benign, but many operate with the aim of subverting authentic debate, either by spreading regime messages in a nontransparent way or by crowding out authentic voices.

The Council on Foreign Relations selected the Journal of Democracy article as one of its must-reads of the week. RTWT

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