When students play my "Mission Possible: Global Issues, Leadership Choices" simulation, they automatically seem to assume they are leaders of a democracy. But democracy, on decline around the world for most of the last decade, is proving an unexpectedly fragile thing. The new Authoritarian Warning Survey takes as its basic premise that it is the erosion of democratic norms, rather than dramatic events like coups, that has been the biggest contributor to the rise of authoritarianism and the decline of democracy. What are the harbingers of authoritarianism that political scientists believe supporters of democracy need to be watchful for? There are six:
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