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EL ESPECTADOR

Democracy Has More Grit Than You Might Think

There are more and more elected leaders these days willing to ride roughshod over the rules of democracy. But that hardly means the system's doomed.

Voting in Indonesia on Dec. 20 in Indonesia
Voting in Indonesia on Dec. 20 in Indonesia
Kuncoro Widyo Rumpoko/Pacific Press via ZUMA
Pedro Viveros

-OpEd-

In Colombia and elsewhere, there are voices declaring that democracy is doomed. They point to the proliferation of erratic leaders and budding dictators, people like Trump, Maduro, Putin, Duterte in the Phillippines, or Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, but without properly analyzing things in any of those countries.

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Geopolitics

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.

U.S. flag and Chinese flag

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

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How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

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