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 dissent, especially in the online realm. This sharing of “worst practices” enables these regimes to manage dissent at home; it also enables learning that can serve to to prevent democratic demonstration effects in the immediate neighborhoods of the leading anti-democratic regimes. Through cooperation and learning, the world’s leading authoritarian governments are building their capacity to hinder democratic development at home and abroad.
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