With the government of Cuba relaxing many aspects of its rule, one may be tempted to conclude that democracy will soon completely triumph over dictatorship, just over two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. That, however, is hardly the case, according to William J Dobson.
In his 2012 book, The Dictator's Learning Curve, Dobson argues that the tide against dictatorship began long before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 _ the 1974 military coup in Portugal, to be exact.
In 1974, there were 41 democracies worldwide. By 2005, the number had more than tripled. Since then, however, all sorts of dictators, strongmen and authoritarian regimes have returned and political freedom all over the globe has declined. Military coups have overturned democratic governments in Asia and populist authoritarians have come back to Latin America.
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