The Dangers Ahead

The Dangers Ahead: Covid-19, Authoritarianism and Democracy

Over the last decade political authoritarianism has been on the rise across the globe. The ‘authoritarian wave’ has touched most continents and regions. So even before the crisis unleashed by Coronavirus many peoples across the world were resisting rising authoritarianism, nationalism and racism.

Coronavirus has often been talked of as a historical rupture, igniting system change. ‘We will not go back’ to the pre-crisis world is the clarion call of the current moment. Yet, the nature of the new world being born is still far from certain. And while opportunities for progressive political change undoubtedly exist, this new historical conjuncture provides considerable opportunities for the further embedding of authoritarianism and new attacks on democracy.

Warning of these dangers this new report, The Dangers Ahead, co-authored by Dr Guy Aitchison and Dr Luke Cooper, surveys the rise of anti-democratic forces and assesses their reaction to these extraordinary recent developments. Moving between the global picture and British domestic politics, the report argues that a new state-dependent capitalism is coalescing in response to the crisis and it ‘fits’ all too organically with the agenda of the authoritarian populists.