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“Authoritarian leaders do not benefit from the corona crisis.”

The Call with Ivan Krastev

5. August 2020
Magazine > Voices > “Authoritarian leaders do not benefit from the corona crisis.”

People wrongly believe that authoritarian leaders are going to be the major beneficiaries of the corona crisis. This is not true.

“It is not true for a very simple reason: the most important freedom that every authoritarian leader cares about is the freedom to choose the crises to wich he responds. Because every dictator dreams to be God. And God is never solving problems that he has not created himself.”

Boris Marte made The Call with the renowned political scientist and IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev, to discuss his role as public intellectual in times of crisis, the authority of science, power of fear, trading freedom for safety and the danger of not taking risks.

This text and video is published under the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name of the author/rights holder should be mentioned as followed. Author: Jovana Trifunović and Igor Bararon / erstestiftung.org. Cover picture: Black Lives Matter protest in Tennessee. Photo:© Zoe VandeWater  / unsplash.com


The Call

The COVID-19 pandemic shattered lives, put social contracts and international relations to test, disrupted economies. Governance systems, good and bad, are in distress. The better off are confined to home offices uncertain of their livelihoods. The less lucky face new heights of digital authoritarianism or sheer violence. The omnipresent media seem to be failing its watchdog function even in world’s oldest democracies. Already eroded, global democracy standards are yet to receive the full blow of pandemic’s political, social and economic consequences.

The video series The Call is an attempt to try to understand better the political, cultural and social implications of the pandemic by asking thinkers and doers from the ERSTE Foundation Community to weigh in with their thoughts and predictions.