Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

The Future of Democracy in the Age of Strongmen Featuring Professor Varshney

November 2, 2020

During the 2020 Mumbai Litfest, Tata Literature Live, professor Varshney participated in a panel session entitled "Big Bosses: The future of democracy in the age of strongmen" on November 19th. Over the past decade, we have seen the rise of authoritarian leaders in formal democracies all over the world. What accounts for this wave?  Does this political trend have economic roots? What is its impact on democratic institutions? Why do such leaders enjoy so much popular support? Why does identity politics, which underpins the electoral success of many of them, have such appeal in this era? How does this wave compare with other periods in history? What is the role of civil society in such a scenario? Has authoritarianism hindered the ability to tackle the pandemic? These are some of the questions that an eminent panel will address. Visit the Litfest website to watch additional panels!