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Riaz Publishes on Global Trend of Authoritarianism

Ali Riaz at the podium

Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz

Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published an essay on the growing trend of authoritarianism around the world.  The essay titled “The Resurrection of Authoritarianism” argues that with a rapid and alarming backsliding of democracy, and undermining of democratic institutions and practices, authoritarianism has become the ‘new normal.’

Riaz underscored that this new brand of authoritarianism has new features along with the markers of classical authoritarianism.  It has transcended from only a system of governance to a practice. The new authoritarianism and its variants, such as the hybrid regimes, have global backers. Riaz writes, at the heart of the new authoritarianism lies identity politics. Authoritarian leaders are obsessed with history. The attempts to rewrite history and create a single official narrative of history, as in Russia, and to protect this narrative through constitutional and legal measures, as in Hungary, are replicated elsewhere. In so doing the authoritarian leaders launch an open assault on academic freedom. New authoritarian leaders, unlike their predecessors, gain their legitimacy through managed elections, creating pseudo-opposition, and allowing a limited space for civil society organizations. Riaz insists, these features do not replace the old ones such as crippling the opposition, using legal and extra-legal measures to control the media and dissent, and the use of blunt force.

The essay is published in the special issue on ‘Authoritarianism’ of the web magazine Shuddhashar from Norway.