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2021 in review: The year in world news

2021 in review: The year in world news

If you thought 2020, the annus horribilis par excellence that TIME Magazine crowned “The Worst Year Ever”, was rock bottom, 2021 was set to prove you wrong. Here’s my pick of the events that rocked the world beyond measure this year (in no particular order). Democracy was under siege

After a very bad, no good 2020, global democracy continued to erode in 2021, deepening a decades-long democratic recession. This decline was felt by entrenched autocracies, fledgling democracies, and long-standing democracies alike.
Most notably, the president of the United States incited a violent mob to storm the US Capitol and overturn the result of an election he lost fair and square. Although his effort ultimately failed, Trump and his allies in the Republican Party continue to undermine the very legitimacy of elections, and two-thirds of Republicans believe the 2020 election was stolen. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro spent months subverting trust in the electoral system, attacking independent institutions like the Supreme Court, and laying the groundwork for a January 6-style insurrection should he lose the 2022 presidential contest—something that seems increasingly likely. While his ability to rig the election is limited, the president’s actions have already eroded Brazilian’s support for democracy, deepened partisan divisions, and weakened the social fabric, making the prospect of political violence in the world’s fourth-largest democracy more likely.
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