Subversive sharp powers and tactics used by autocracies, oligarchs, kleptocracies, right- and left- wing populist politicians facilitated by private entities undermining democratic, civil, and minority rights are a foundational threat to our democratic stability. Journalists, and defenders of human rights, LGBTIQ+, women’s-rights are regularly harassed, discredited, and threatened online. Still, did you know that on the Institute for Economics’ Global Peace Index (IEP GPI), Hungary ranks higher than The Netherlands? And the United Arab Emirates outranks the United States of America by 70 positions?
How is it possible that a state publicly perceived as authoritarian, does so well in the GPI ranking? And why is the public perception of authoritarian influence in up-and-coming democracies always perceived as negative? The SDG Trainees of this project will investigate the relationship between authoritarian states influence in open society states through politically driven investment initiatives and subversive activities.