Global freedom declined for a 17th consecutive year in 2022 as 35 countries suffered deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties, according to a new report released today by Freedom House. A total of 34 countries made improvements during the year, however, meaning the gap between the numbers of countries that improved and declined was the narrowest it has ever been since the negative pattern began. The report suggests that the struggle for democracy may be approaching a turning point, and offers recommendations on how democratic governments and societies should work together to roll back authoritarian gains. Continue reading
Category Archives: Politics
Bola Ahmed Tinubu: The kingmaker is now Nigeria’s president-elect
Olayinka Oyegbile, Trinity University, Lagos
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Nigeria, has been declared winner of the country’s keenly contested presidential election.
Democracy under attack in Brazil: 5 questions about the storming of Congress and the role of the military
Rafael R. Ioris, University of Denver
Thousands of far-right supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace on Jan. 8, 2023.
What is the Reichsbürger movement accused of trying to overthrow the German government?
Claire Burchett, King’s College London
Police have arrested 25 people accused of planning to overthrow the German government in a series of raids across the country.
70 years of data suggest the Conservatives will suffer a big defeat at the next election – here’s how I worked it out
Paul Whiteley, University of Essex
With the UK’s new prime minister in office, it looks like the political turmoil of the last few months is likely to ease, at least for the time being. Rishi Sunak and his fellow MPs must put their political differences aside to focus on stabilising the economy and calming financial markets. But Sunak will of course have one eye on the next election, which he must call before January 2025.
Four scenarios for a world in disorder
David Bach, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the Communist Party Congress could be one of the most consequential of the decade. He told the audience – and the world – that his economic growth-crushing zero-COVID policy is here to stay, and that Beijing is more determined than ever to reunify with Taiwan, peacefully if possible and by force if necessary.
It matters that Rishi Sunak has become the UK’s first prime minister of Indian descent
Parveen Akhtar, Aston University
Following his uncontested run at the top job, Rishi Sunak acquires the less-than-coveted title of second successive un-elected British prime minister to take office in 2022. However, coming from Punjabi heritage, he also takes on the more esteemed title of the nation’s first British Asian leader.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: who is he and how did he end up with the top job in British politics?
Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds
When Rishi Sunak lost to Liz Truss in the first Conservative Party leadership race of 2022, few were surprised. Many of the people given the chance to choose between the two candidates blamed Sunak for Boris Johnson’s downfall. They also preferred Truss’s “optimistic” economic policies to Sunak’s sombre assessment of the fiscal outlook. Where she promised generous tax arrangements, he argued that economic circumstances would be hard and taxes could not be cut in the short term. Indeed, he warned, they might even have to rise.
Liz Truss resigns as prime minister: the five causes of her downfall explained
Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield
As Liz Truss stepped away from the lectern outside No.10 Downing Street after resigning as leader of her party, it probably occurred to her that her time as prime minister will have been only as long as the leadership campaign that got her there.
Kwasi Kwarteng: only a desperate prime minister sacks a chancellor
Despina Alexiadou, University of Strathclyde
Having seen her government’s popularity plummet just weeks after taking office, British prime minister Liz Truss has sacked her chancellor of the exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng in a bid to save herself. Kwarteng, widely seen as Truss’s right-hand man, was rushed back to London from New York for the occasion, where he had been meeting with IMF officials on Thursday evening.