#45: Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy Can Prevail in the Age of the Strongman with Charles Dunst
Play • 42 min

Charles Dunst is deputy director of research & analytics at The Asia Group, an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a contributing editor of American Purpose.

He has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Foreign Policy, among other outlets. An erstwhile foreign correspondent, he has reported from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Israel and the Palestinian territories, the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Hungary, and Andorra. He has appeared on broadcast channels including BBC News, ABC News, Bloomberg Radio, Times Radio, and TV Tokyo, and is regularly quoted in outlets like the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and POLITICO.

I spoke with Charles about his book titled: Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy Can Prevail in the Age of the Strongman
Some of the topics we discussed includes: 

  • How and why has for many people in the West, an autocratic regime seems more appealing than the democratic one we currently have.
  • How lacking merit and meritocracy can lead to a system that citizens feel disillusioned with.
  • Where democratic governments have fallen behind when it comes to taking accountability 
  • How the nature of democratic governments short-term thinking has led to the outcome of citizens not having much trust in their governments. And what democratic governments can learn from the private sector when it comes to longterm thinking.
  • Why places such as Singapore and UAE have such a high approval rating and how this is largely down to these authoritarian governments delivering on their promises.
  • How immigration can help democracies prevail
  • The trickle down effects of how improving our own governments fends off  autocracies. 

The Book and Audiobook: Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy Can Prevail in the Age of the Strongman is out now.

You can also find out more about Charles on his website https://www.charlesdunst.com

As of now, my podcast is biweekly and prior to an episode I’ll let you know what book/audiobook I’ll be listening to before the next show so we can delve into it together!

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