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The new face of authoritarianism

It is different from the uniformed and jackbooted fascism of a century ago, but only in appearance

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Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Aakar Patel
In 2018, only a couple of years into the presidency of Donald Trump, a remarkable book was published, called How Democracies Die. Its authors, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, assessed the history and nature of primary elections and caucuses in the United States, through which candidates for president are elected. And they examined the candidacy and rhetoric of Mr Trump.

They applied this to a framework they developed to assess the manner in which nations turned authoritarian while retaining the formal structure of constitutional democracies. Their framework was, in turn, based on the work of a previous scholar named
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First Published: Oct 20 2022 | 10:07 PM IST

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