Leaders with despotic and authoritarian tendencies have always attempted to dismantle democracies. Plato was among the first to write about how resentments created by democracy and the desire for strong authoritarian rule were the ideal conditions for a tyrant. A little less than two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville explained how new forms of despotism could flourish by exploiting dysfunctional aspects of representative democracy. And today, the success of populism is posing crucial questions about how our democracies can be protected against the risk of a new wave of authoritarianism.


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