Columns Global Affairs

On the Other Hand: Autocratic anxieties and democratic backsliding in India

In his political column, On the Other Hand, Hayden Barnes examines Narendra Modi’s autocratic and Islamophobic tendencies and their impact on the world’s biggest democracy. Artwork by Rachel Macnaghten.

“The clearest illustration of Hindu nationalism and supremacist ambitions is the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). In short, this bill grants citizenship to those who failed to qualify for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – everyone except Muslims. The pluralism, the secularism, the multiculturalism, the cosmopolitanism of Gandhi and Nehru is being treated like an offensive building: knock it down, Modi says, and build something new.”

Global Affairs

Democracy or Autocracy – Who will benefit from Myanmar’s chaos?

Following the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s recent elections, the military seized control of the government on February 1st, declaring a year-long state of emergency, and detaining Ms. Suu Kyi alongside members of her party. Having sided with the opposition, their justification was the supposed fraud surrounding the elections, yet there is Read More…


The International Community Must Act to Protect Myanmar’s Democracy

“The lesson we should have learnt from the Middle-Eastern wars is that interventions must be prudent and limited, and pursued only with detailed knowledge of the invariably complex situation on the ground. This does not mean intervention is always the wrong thing to do. Yet, many politicians have arrived at the conclusion that the use of military force is inherently irresponsible.”

Oliver Buckingham examines the case for intervention in Myanmar.

Global Affairs Opinion

With 215,000 American citizens dead, is its democracy next?

Regardless of the election’s outcome a sizeable proportion of the population will be deeply angered by the result and will cite reasons why the vote was illegitimate (both real, like voter suppression, and imagined, like widespread voter fraud). With the population already at a fever pitch after months of civil unrest, it is almost certain that there will be protests and riots featuring violent clashes. Faith in government will undoubtedly suffer. Soon America’s democracy may be added to COVID-19’s ever-growing death toll.


How is Coronavirus Affecting Democracy?

Sharon Chu explains how cancelling elections in response to the pandemic poses a threat to democracy.

“Postponing elections might just seem like a one-off, genuinely benevolent action, but it could set a terrible precedent and lead to democratic backsliding, especially in places where democracy is already under threat. We must not let this slide.”