Essays & Op-Eds

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  • Cultural Criticism
  • Donald Trump and American Democracy
  • Fascism and the Global Right
  • Gender Politics and #MeToo
  • Propaganda
  • The Authoritarian Playbook
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Jair Bolsonaro Is Not the New Trump. He’s Worse.

Scarcely a week into Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure as president of Brazil, protections for the environment and indigenous and LGBTQ populations have been removed, and both the neoliberal economic policies closely associated in Latin America …

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What We Learned from World War One

One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War I ended. Life would never be the same for the more than …

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Anti George Soros sentiment graffiti in Resen Macedonia 2018

Mail bombs: Hate speech can have consequences

Anyone who wonders about the link between hateful threats and actual violence was given something serious and grave to think about this week. Authorities found several pipe bombs delivered to …

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Kellyanne Conway addressing the March for Life

How to push back against Trump’s propaganda machine

Earlier this week, President Trump gave an interview to two correspondents at the Hill. The interviewers served him softball questions and plenty of adulation. His claim that his attacks on the FBI could one …

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Trump and Putin: the pictures tell the story

Anyone who needs confirmation of the secret of a strongman — that he’s a weak man, in constant need of ego affirmation — need only look at images of the …

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People with computers at a meeting

The Sexual Harassment We Don’t Talk About

She arrives at the meeting to present a report that she’s worked on for months. Within minutes he’s at her side, telling her she looks gorgeous today. He sits next …

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When Investigators Threatened His Power, He Declared Dictatorship

He threatened the press, joked about ruling for life and bullied everyone, including the allies who helped him get into office, while enjoying a cult following among his base. When …

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Protest march in Madrid against La Manada sentence, in the Spanish Parliament

This message keeps the global #MeToo movement alive

The #MeToo movement has shown once again the wisdom of the adage that there is strength in numbers — even as it highlights that it is still difficult for individual …

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Matteo Salvini - Manifestazione Piazza Duomo - 24 Febbraio 2018

In Italy’s Elections, the Fascists Did Scarily Well

Italy’s elections may have ended in a political deadlock — no one party or alliance gained the 40% necessary to have an absolute Parliamentary majority — but the projected results …

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President Donald J. Trump delivers his presidential inaugural address

Americans don’t want authoritarian spectacles, but Trump does

(CNN) President Donald Trump loves a good show, especially if he’s the protagonist. He’s the first POTUS to have starred in his own reality television series, and, with President Ronald …

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Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.