Los Angeles

Is America Enabling Autocrats to Run the World?

Photo by Leah Millis/Reuters. Courtesy of Associated Press.

A Zócalo/UCLA Downtown Event
Moderated by Carol Giacomo, Editorial Board Member, The New York Times
LOCATION:
National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Paid parking is available at the Little Tokyo Mall Public Parking Lot (318 E. First St.). Enter from San Pedro Street. Additional paid parking is available at the Japanese Village Plaza Parking Lot (356 E. First St.) and the Office Depot Plaza Parking Lot (401 Alameda St.).

A Saudi journalist living in the United States is murdered by agents of a government to which America provides arms. President Trump openly favors autocratic rulers from Russia to Hungary to the Philippines, and even expresses “love” for North Korea’s dictator. What does it mean when the president of the United States, a country long cast as a defender of freedom, sides with repressive regimes and even withdraws from democratic alliances? Is American financial and rhetorical support for autocrats really responsible for the decline of liberal democracy, or are other factors driving the rise of authoritarianism globally? And what specific U.S. actions strengthen authoritarians around the world—and which policies and institutions might frustrate or weaken them? Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations Kal Raustiala, Washington Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah, and UCLA political scientist Richard D. Anderson visit Zócalo to examine how America’s turn away from promoting democracy abroad influences governments around the world.

More Upcoming Events

How Has America Survived Two Centuries of Capitalism?

The United States is envied around the world for its unparalleled wealth. But its riches would not have been possible without what Alan Greenspan has called America’s “unique tolerance” for the messy effects of capitalism’s creative destruction. What is so special about our brand of capitalism that generations of Americans have been willing to endure so much wrenching change in …

How Will the New Supreme Court Change America?

It’s age-old wisdom: Every single new justice creates a brand-new U.S. Supreme Court. But some legal scholars are suggesting that the court taking shape now, with a conservative majority established by President Trump’s second appointee, could make especially broad changes in the law. Long-established precedents on matters of race, sex, religion, and privacy could be overturned. And the basic structure …

What Does the Life of Frederick Douglass Tell Us About America?

American icon Frederick Douglass died in 1895, but he still makes the news. Indeed, he represents an increasingly rare sort of hero—one whose story is invoked across the political spectrum. Perhaps that’s because his life was so large, grand, and complex. He was among the most photographed and well-traveled people of the 19th century and had so many varied roles—radical …

Can Individuals Be Happy in an Unhappy Time?

The pursuit of happiness is foundational to the United States, and happiness has become an international obsession as nations seek to measure happiness and enact policies to increase it. But this is also an era of disruption, dislocation, and great unhappiness; in the U.S., half of all adults suffer from anxiety, according to some estimates. Are the meanings and measures …

Do Americans Misunderstand the Roots of Crime?

Americans treat crime as a public scourge. And we attack it via public systems—our prisons, probation departments, and school and youth programs—to intervene before people go wrong. But what if crime isn’t just a public problem, but also an intensely private issue tied to families? Just five percent of American families account for half of all crimes, and 10 percent …