from the Introduction:
Joe Biden has made the global promotion of democracy a central goal of his presidency. But he has come to power in the midst of the Age of the Strongman. Populist and authoritarian leaders are now shaping the direction of world politics. They are riding a tide of resurgent nationalism and cultural and territorial conflict that may be too powerful to be turned back by Biden’s reassertion of liberal values and American leadership.
Even in the US itself, Biden’s victory has not definitively turned the page on strongman politics. Donald Trump did well enough in the 2020 presidential election to spark immediate talk of him running for the presidency again in 2024. Even if Trump himself pulls back from frontline politics, future Republican contenders are likely to embrace the political formula he has identified.
- About the author: Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. He joined the FT in 2006, after fifteen years at The Economist, where he served as a correspondent in Washington DC, Brussels, and Bangkok.