Can America Do Anything at All to Encourage Democracy?

Media

Senior Fellow James Traub write in Foreign Policy Magazine about how as uprisings happen in China and Iran, it’s no accident the United States hasn’t been involved.

Autocratic countries have vastly improved their arsenal of oppression since then; yet the world seems to be living through another moment of gathering resistance. We see that in mass uprisings against the brutal mistreatment of women in Iran, the spontaneous protests against COVID-19 lockdowns and other indignities in China, and Ukraine’s heroic stand against Russian aggression. These thrilling and sometimes terrifying acts of self-assertion remind us that, no matter how disgusted people in the West seem to be with the stalemates, compromises, and specious rhetoric that afflict democracies, people who don’t have one or fear losing one will take astonishing risks in the name of liberty—or even the accountability that democracies offer.

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