The Long Arm of the Strongman

How China and Russia Use Sharp Power to Threaten Democracies

Democracies have struggled and autocracies have grown in strength in the past decade and a half. During this period, dictatorships have intensified and modernized their systems of repression. Governments in virtually every region, many ostensible democracies among them, have become more illiberal or authoritarian. Two major powers in particular, China and Russia, have led the way in tightening control domestically, adapting their techniques for the digital era, and exerting greater influence abroad with the aim of making the world safer for autocracy.

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