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Editor’s Note: All else follows
The fight for multiracial, multiethnic democracies is urgent, according to editor Christopher Shay. The aims of this “Fascism Rising” issue are, first, to analyze the strategies autocrats have used to distort history, erase truth, and mobilize their publics, and, second, to explore ways of fighting back far-right populism.
The Big Question: What role does the media play in driving xenophobia?
World Policy Journal asked five experts from around the globe how the media has promoted or deterred xenophobia.
From Andijon to Bowling Green: Fabricated terrorism in Uzbekistan and the United States
Kellyanne Conway’s casual invocation of a make-believe massacre in Ohio shouldn't be sloughed off as a slip of the tongue. Comparing Conway’s lie to Uzbek propaganda tactics, Central Asia scholar Sarah Kendzior argues that the Bowling Green massacre should be viewed as a part of the Trump administration's broader initiative to demonize Muslims and create an alternate history of terrorist threat in America.
Trump’s savage capitalism: The nightmare is real
In his racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, Donald Trump resembles a 20th-century fascist—but historian Enzo Traverso argues the likeness is superficial. Trumpism is the product of recent transformations of capitalism, and thus he embodies something new, dangerous, and not yet fully realized.
The left restored is mightier than Le Pen
France’s left is in shambles, but journalist Cole Stangler argues that this is no time for the country’s progressive parties to equivocate. The moment, he writes, desperately cries out for an unapologetic left—one that caters to the basic needs of wage earners rather than economic elites.
Map Room: C’est l’économie, stupide?
World Policy Journal explores the correlation in France between support for the far-right National Front and the unemployment rate.
How the left can right itself
Many pundits and politicians blame the left’s neglect of the white working-class voters for the success of far-right parties in Europe and the U.S. But sidelining or even deriding diversity isn’t the answer, writes political science professor Terri E. Givens. Instead, center-left parties must build broad-based support for a multiethnic approach to governance that reduces inequality, strengthens unions, and develops sustainable immigration policies.
Anatomy: Rise of the far right in Europe
World Policy Journal analyzes the emergence of far-right parties as a political force in Europe.
“We’ve won”: How Trump empowers Israel’s far right
The far right in Israel largely celebrated Donald Trump’s presidential triumph and believes it can now impose its own vision onto the region. Journalist Asher Schechter examines anti-democratic trends in Israel, and argues the right has yet to offer a blueprint for the country’s future.
“A people without a history won’t fight”: The battle to control Ukraine’s past
From Kiev, journalist Ian Bateson explores how the political wing of the far-right Azov battalion uses historical artifacts and a selective interpretation of past greatness to justify its vision for Ukraine.
Is it time to drop the F-bomb on Russia? Why Putin is almost a fascist
Vladimir Putin meets the classical definition of a fascist, says Maria Snegovaya, except for one factor—the Kremlin can’t yet unite the public around a clearly articulated nationalist ideology. This missing piece constrains the aggressiveness of the Russian state.
“Stay outraged”: A conversation with Masha Gessen
Having spent over two decades dissecting Russia’s slide into dictatorship, journalist Masha Gessen is now terrified of the damage President Donald Trump could inflict on democracy in the U.S. World Policy Journal spoke with Gessen about Putin, the media, and what citizens can do to protect a country from authoritarianism.
Total collapse: Venezuela after Chávez
Alejandro Cegarra’s photographs and essay reveal a Venezuela that is more dangerous, more unequal, and poorer than any time in recent history.
Emboldened by outsiders, restricted at home: How sexism holds back queer women in West and Central Africa
“Either we hide who we are and are at peace with society, or we live publicly, and we are cut off,” says Carmen, a 31-year-old from western Cameroon. Robbie Corey-Boulet writes that in Cameroon and Ivory Coast, gender roles restrict women’s financial independence and can make it difficult for queer women to be self-sufficient outside traditional family models.
The patriarchy’s revenge: How retro-macho politics doomed Dilma Rousseff
Professor of political studies Omar G. Encarnación details the sexism and misogyny leveled at Dilma Rousseff throughout her career in Brazilian politics. He argues that her impeachment was part of a growing backlash against women and people of color.
The roads to power: The infrastructure of counterinsurgency
From the Napoleonic era to the present day, waging war has gone hand in hand with building roads. Laleh Khalili, politics professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, describes how U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Israeli authorities in Palestine use road construction to impose security and economic regimes.
Trials and errors: The promises and pitfalls of South Africa’s criminal justice system
A young and fragile democracy, South Africa cannot afford to have its courts compromised. Journalist Alex Eliseev examines the murders of Betty Ketani and Michael Thomson to illustrate the potential excellence of the country’s judicial system and how easily it can be hampered by heavy case loads, shoddy police work, a lack of resources, and poor communication.
Ukraine between Russia and the West: Buffer or flashpoint?
A buffer zone can separate great powers, but this arrangement only works if the competing states—and the buffer itself—agree on the terms. Ukraine’s domestic turmoil and relations with Russia, the U.S., and Europe make it a flawed candidate for a buffer state, argue professors Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, and Jack Snyder, but that outcome could be better than the alternatives.
Legal limits: Ending human trafficking in supply chains
Labor trafficking plagues international supply chains. A few countries require companies to disclose the measures they’ve taken to address the exploitation of workers, but when it comes to enforcing compliance, legislation often falls short. Sociologist Stephanie A. Limoncelli argues that transparency laws must also be accompanied by efforts to promote social inclusion and economic development.
World Policy Journal analyzes how populist leaders use their Twitter accounts, from Donald Trump to Narendra Modi.