Not Just Here: The Far-Right, COVID Skepticism, and the Storming of the German Bundestag

By Alec Medine On August 31st, after weeks of extensive protests across Berlin against Coronavirus restrictions, a large crowd from Germany’s far-right stormed the Bundestag.  Many of the demonstrators were waving German imperial flags in a show of force that looked like something out of the tumultuous days of Weimar Germany. Far from being something […]

Navalny, Belarus, and COVID-19: Vladimir Putin’s Ultimate Crisis

  Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images By Layne Meyer “Regimes that rule by fear, live in fear,” declared The Economist this week in response to  mounting pressure against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nothing describes his perilous situation better.  Despite securing power until 2036 via a sham constitutional referendum, Putin’s reign is as fragile as ever, challenged by […]

Checks, Balances, and Bribery: Corruption in Developing Democracies

By Teddy Tawil What’s the going rate to bribe a politician? A judge? A television executive? The answers offer fascinating insights into checks and balances—when they’re most needed, which are most important, and why they’re the bedrock of well-functioning democracies. Let’s start with a simpler question: when is a lack of checks and balances most […]

Citizen Journalists Take Back the News in East Lansing, Michigan

By Clement Obropta The American newsroom is in crisis and has been for over a decade. Across the country, editorial jobs have been cut, local papers have closed up shop, and many have been forced to leave their print editions behind. But despite all this, something extraordinary has been happening in East Lansing, Michigan. A […]

COVID-19 and the Invitation to Authoritarianism

By Alec Medine The COVID-19 pandemic has fostered a worrying resurgence in authoritarian behavior and popular sympathy for autocracy, encouraged by the theory that authoritarian regimes handle such crises significantly better than democracies. Authoritarian regimes, the story goes, can enact sweeping and decisive action quickly while democracies flounder in debate and excessive bureaucracy as citizens […]