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The New-Old Authoritarianism

With US think tanks having already drawn up plans for instituting an authoritarian government under a second Donald Trump administration, the stakes in the year’s presidential election are difficult to overstate. Around the world, “strongmen” are turning democratic institutions on themselves and learning from each other.

Over the past decade, Ruth Ben-Ghiat has emerged as one of the English-speaking world’s leading experts on, and chroniclers of, authoritarian leaders in the twenty-first century. A professor of history and Italian studies at New York University and the author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, she warns against complacency in the face of growing threats to democracy around the world.