Aspen Institute España, in collaboration with Editorial Crítica and Pérez-Llorca, held a public lecture with Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, where he presented his latest book The Age of the Strongman: How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy Around the World (Crítica, 2022). After his talk, Pablo García-Berdoy, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union, moderated the discussion with the audience. The conference, which took place in English, was held at Pérez-Llorca’s headquarters (P.º de la Castellana, 50 – Madrid).
We are in a new era. Since the beginning of the millennium, when Vladimir Putin took power in Russia, different authoritarian leaders have come to dominate world politics. These leaders foster a cult of personality. They are nationalists and social conservatives, with little tolerance for minorities, dissent or foreign interests. At home they claim to defend ordinary people against globalist elites; abroad, they present themselves as the embodiments of their nations.
Rachman analyses the phenomenon as a whole and uncovers the complex and often surprising interplay between these leaders, identifying common themes, finding global coherence in the chaos, and offering a bold new paradigm for navigating our world.
He is a renowned British journalist with a brilliant academic and professional career. A History graduate from Cambridge University, he became the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs columnist after 15 years as a correspondent for The Economist.
He has been a diplomat for more than 30 years, Ambassador to Romania and Moldova, Ambassador to Germany, and Permanent Representative to the European Union. In addition, he was Secretary General of Aspen Institute España in the early years of its founding.
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