Mercedes-Benz Foreign Policy Forum
Strongmen: How They Rise, How They Rule, How They Fall
Strongmen rule in some of the most geopolitically important nations of the world. Understanding how they think and how to push back against them is essential. In this talk, Ruth Ben-Ghiat lays out the “authoritarian playbook” – violence, machismo, corruption, propaganda, and coercion, which strongmen use to obtain and stay in power. She also highlights the pathologies of authoritarianism and how they often lead autocrats becoming isolated, believing their own propaganda, and making bad decisions, resulting ultimately in challenges to their rule. Ben-Ghiat will review what works to resist strongmen today and discuss the present political situation in the United States, where she sees the Republican Party increasingly adopting the traits of authoritarian rule.
Generously supported by Mercedes-Benz Fonds