The new dictators rule by velvet fist

While dictatorships used to be sustained by violence, new autocrats use propaganda, censorship and other information-based tricks to inflate their ratings and to convince citizens of their superiority over available alternatives.

Sergei Guriev and Daniel Trisman describe how “soft” dictators concentrate power, stifling opposition and eliminating checks and balances, while using hardly any violence. The new autocrats bribe media owners with advertising contracts, threaten libel suits, and encourage pro-regime investors to purchase critical publications.

Read more: Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman (2015, May 24) The new dictators rule by velvet fist The New York Times


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