Around the world, illiberal regimes have developed increasingly sophisticated techniques of repression to maintain domestic control, while becoming increasingly active abroad to contain the spread of democracy. From sharing techniques for cracking down on civil society, to creating parallel, authoritarian-friendly international organizations, to investing in flashy, state-run international broadcasting outlets, the Big Five and their allies are actively working to silence domestic and international criticism of undemocratic practices.



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  • Authoritarian Cooperation & Learning

    To maintain power, authoritarian regimes must constantly revise and adapt their playbooks to find new ways to repress, subvert, and co-opt threats to their rule. In the era of globalization, authoritarian sharing of information and methods occur more rapidly, allowing repressive regimes to quickly adopt the latest tools for repressing...

  • Subverting the International System

    In the era of globalization, regime security cannot be achieved solely through domestic control. To shield themselves from international scrutiny, resurgent dictatorships are seeking to reshape global institutional frameworks that have served as the glue of the post-Cold War order.                    ...

  • Media Manipulation

    Where old-school authoritarians relied on traditional forms of censorship and ideologically-oriented propaganda to maintain control over their populations, modern authoritarians are adopting increasingly sophisticated methods to influence public opinion and shape political narratives. By restricting space for independent media outlets, policing the Internet, sponsoring fake think tanks, and relying on...


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