Nearly a year in the making, Winter/Spring 2020 is a special internationally themed edition of The Public Eye, drawing on contributions from 10 writers and covering nine countries. Overall, the picture these pieces show is grim, with country after country contending with a greatly emboldened Far Right, and many sliding away from democracy and toward autocracy.

Over the course of finalizing this issue, as much of the world shut down to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, some nations used the crisis as an opportunity to further entrench illiberal or authoritarian policies, as with Viktor Orbán’s seizure of emergency powers in Hungary. But all of these trends have been years in the making, and many are deeply interrelated.