Democracy and Dictators Are Under Pressure to Provide Responsiveness and Accountability

Many democracies are struggling to provide a decent life for all their citizens, limit economic dislocations, and avoid rising inequality. But so are most autocratic countries, even ones with significant energy resources. The rigors of a ruthlessly competitive global economy apply just as much in repressive countries as in free ones. Owing to China’s success in lifting hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty, “authoritarian capitalism” has attracted attention as an alternative to liberal democracy. But China is an outlier: only a handful of regimes have been able to combine political repression with far-reaching economic reforms that produce real economic dynamism.
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