Democracy in Question: Sergei Guriev on the Changing Face of Autocracy

The latest episode of the Democracy in Question podcast, hosted by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector Shalini Randeria, features Sergei Guriev, Provost and Professor of Economics at Sciences Po in Paris. Guriev was Rector of the New Economic School in Moscow until 2013 when he was forced by political circumstances to leave Russia. Between 2016 and 2019, he served as the chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has held visiting professorships at MIT as well as Princeton, and was selected as a 2006 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Guriev's broad research interests span areas of political economics, developmental economics, labor mobility, corporate governance and contract theory. His latest book, "Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century" co-authored by Daniel Treisman, is an account of the changing character of authoritarian politics in the 21st century. 

In this episode, "Sergei Guriev on the Changing Face of Autocracy" published March 29, Randeria and her guest explore the main differences between contemporary, quasi-dictatorial regimes based on spin, and older 20th-century dictatorships based on overt repression and fear. Why do spin dictators demonstrate a commitment to democratic elections and how do their actions undermine democracy from within? Listen to find out what such regimes teach us about internal contradictions of Western democracies and how similar spin dictators are to so-called populist leaders.

For each episode of Democracy in Question, Randeria invites a leading scholar or public figure to explore the challenges and dilemmas facing democracies around the world. Listen to the trailer and subscribe here.

Series six of Democracy in Question is produced in partnership with the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute in Geneva (AHCD) where Randeria is a Senior Fellow. ACHD and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna co-produced seasons one and two of the podcast.