Over the past decade, we have seen the rise of authoritarian leaders in formal democracies all over the world. What accounts for this wave? Does this political trend have economic roots? What is its impact on democratic institutions? Why do such leaders enjoy so much popular support? Why does identity politics, which underpins the electoral success of many of them, have such appeal in this era? How does this wave compare with other periods in history? What is the role of civil society in such a scenario? Has authoritarianism hindered the ability to tackle the pandemic? These are some of the questions that an eminent panel will address.
Alan Friedman is an award-winning journalist, documentarian and the author of several international best-selling books.
Ashutosh Varshney is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia.