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The "global obsession" with controlling women’s bodies

When asked what most surprised her when she became the UN's top global advocate for gender equality, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka didn't hesitate. "The obsession about controlling women's bodies is really something that also shocked me when I got to the UN." The constant objections she fielded around women's rights and reproductive rights, regardless of where in the world they were coming from, was not something Mlambo-Ngcuka was prepared for. And that's especially true, she says, for the United States.

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Autocrats, alternative facts & dystopian futures

It's a fact that can be hard to swallow: even the most brutal of dictators can be democratically elected. Many voters, it turns out, like autocrats. So how popular are anti-democratic movements in some of the world's strongest democracies? More so than you might think. And it's a trend that's growing.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

How China & Russia exploit civil unrest as democracy’s failure

A tried-and-true argument that autocrats frequently make to their constituents isn't so much that life is amazing at home, but that it's just as bad elsewhere. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum, who joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to unpack the enduring allure of authoritarianism around the world. "Everything that goes wrong inside the United States or in Scandinavia or in Southern Europe is immediately beamed back to Russians in the form of state propaganda," Applebaum says.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Authoritarianism's appeal when democracy disappoints

What is so attractive about authoritarianism? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum argues it has to do with a fundamental civic disillusionment. "The drive towards authoritarianism for the last 100 years resulted from people who feel some kind of disappointment with democracy." It can be a political disappointment or a personal one, Applebaum argues, that pushes people away from democratic institutions. And it's a trend that has only grown in recent years in some of the world's oldest and strongest democracies, including in the United States.

So how do governments make the case for democracy? That's the subject of Applebaum's interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, which began airing on US public television stations nationwide on Friday, March 5.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Why anti-democratic movements in Europe and the US are remarkably similar

Political movements that promote authoritarian leaders and anti-democratic governments have gained significant ground in Eastern Europe in the past twenty years. And according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum, it's a trend that goes beyond that specific region. "This will sound very bizarre, but the trajectory of events and the nature of political debate in Poland is amazingly similar to the United States, the kinds of arguments that people make, the, the level of polarization… you can see this impulse to destroy and undermine the institutions of democracy everywhere." What is the appeal of such movements and what has the pandemic done to expand their influence?

Applebaum and Ian Bremmer take on those questions on GZERO World, which began airing on US public television stations nationwide on Friday, March 5. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Podcast: Authoritarianism’s Enduring Appeal

Listen: From the Philippines to Hungary to Venezuela, countries across the world have embraced authoritarian rule, in many cases with significant popular support. What is the enduring appeal of authoritarianism, how susceptible is the United States to its sway, and what has the pandemic done to accelerate its growth? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum joins Ian Bremmer to discuss.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Trump scores at CPAC: what it means

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

I thought I would talk today, I haven't spoken much about former President Trump since he's no longer president and I intend to continue that practice. But given this weekend and the big speech at CPAC and the fact that in the straw poll, Trump won and won by a long margin. I mean, DeSantis came in number two, but he's the Governor of Florida, CPAC was in Orlando, so that's a home court bias. In reality, it's Trump's party. And I think given all of that, it's worth spending a little bit of time reflecting on what that means, how I think about these things.

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Armenia comes close to military coup; political turmoil in Georgia

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Stockholm on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Is there a military coup ongoing in Armenia?

Well, it isn't a military coup as of yet, but it's not far from it either. This is the turmoil that is resulting from the war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia took a large death loss. What happened was that the head of the armed forces asked for the prime minister to resign. That was not quite a coup, but not very far from it. Now, the prime minister sacked the head of the armed forces, there's considerable uncertainty. Watch the space.

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