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Review: ‘The Dictator’s Learning Curve’ by William Dobson

by Joshua Kurlantzick
May 21, 2012

In his new book, Dobson argues the Chinese Communist Party is one of several New Age autocratic regimes that justify oppressive rule with economic success. Pictured: Chinese President Hu Jintao. (Jason Lee/Courtesy Reuters) In his new book, Dobson argues the Chinese Communist Party is one of several New Age autocratic regimes that justify oppressive rule with economic success. Pictured: Chinese President Hu Jintao. (Jason Lee/Courtesy Reuters)

The ongoing uprisings in the Arab world, as well as transformations in Myanmar and several other closed countries, have led to predictions that we are in the beginnings of a global Fourth Wave of democratization, following the three previous waves over the past century. I disagree —and I think the data supports my argument that in reality democracy in many developing nations remains in serious crisis. In the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, I review William Dobson’s book The Dictator’s Learning Curve, which deals with many of these questions of whether a Fourth Wave is upon us. Read the review on Bloomberg Businessweek.

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