As this issue heads to print, U.S. legislators have been demonizing student-organized Gaza solidarity encampments, calling for protesters’ arrest and campus purges while holding hearings that weaponize accusations of antisemitism to silence criticism of Israel. Too many university leaders have capitulated to this bad-faith, neo-McCarthyite pressure, ceding their ground to the Right or eagerly following its lead. 

The antidemocratic turn that this criminalization of protest exemplifies is the subject of our Spring 2024 issue on the far-right expansion of authoritarianism globally. In a timely commentary on the state’s use of the “outside agitator” narrative to violently repress progressive movements—namely, Palestine solidarity activism and the Stop Cop City movement—PRA’s Habiba Farh examines how “the powerful choose authoritarian control” to secure their rule over democratic challenges to their legitimacy.

Our first feature considers what’s behind the global authoritarian surge—and what’s to be done about it. As far-right leaders worldwide share tactics to consolidate their power, Meena Jagannath and Nikki Thanos of the Movement Lawyers Lab write, “We cannot simply reform our institutions or file the perfect set of lawsuits to curb the threat of rising authoritarianism. We must build, slowly and purposefully, alongside social movements, and that requires a power-building approach to law and organizing.” 

As India wraps up national elections that could bring a third term to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PRA’s newest partner, Savera: United Against Supremacy, reports on the violent, far-right Hindu supremacist movement behind Modi’s government. As Savera writes, Hindu supremacism constitutes “a key part of a global far-right ecosystem” that poses a “critical threat to pluralism, democracy, and civil rights” the world over. 

Taiwan’s bitterly contested national elections were among this year’s first. In an online feature, Kayo Chang Black examines the role of disinformation in the elections and what a split outcome reveals about the country’s ongoing struggle between democracy and authoritarianism.

Ahead of his re-election, Russia’s Vladimir Putin declared 2024 “The Year of the Family.” In her commentary (published with a pseudonym), Irina Smolevskaya scrutinizes Putin’s appeal to “traditional family values” as a reversal of U.S. Cold War containment rhetoric appealing to domestic and transnational conservatives alike. Russia, along with Egypt and Iran, is among the leaders of a global anti-gender movement that draws on this rhetoric to wield growing influence at the UN. As Zoë Schott writes, the movement’s mission has shifted from attacking gender-focused spaces to all global policymaking to undermine LGBTQ rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender justice—and ultimately, the UN itself.

The climate emergency requires coordinated global action, but as Ajay Singh Chaudhary argues in our excerpt of his book, The Exhausted of the Earth (full excerpt online), the “right-wing climate realism” of those who benefit from the extractive economic system that fuels global warming upholds “business-as-usual.”

Finally, we consider a few recent books in this issue. PRA’s Ethan Fauré discusses U.S. immigration politics and considers how two books—The Case for Open Borders and My Fourth Time We Drowned—challenge “border crisis” narratives. And PRA’s Annie Wilkinson speaks with the editors of Conspiracy/Theory, Joseph Masco and Lisa Wedeen, about the reality-making power of conspiracism and its global spread.

Our cover features a paste-up collage of Palestine solidarity art in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Its message reads, “May we never stop demanding freedom, dignity, and the end of occupation everywhere from Palestine to Kashmir. In The Art of Activism, Fearless Collective artist Vicky Shahjehan speaks with PRA about the inspiration behind her public art.