Authoritarian Influence Podcast Episodes

Defending the Human Rights System from Authoritarian Assault: A Conversation with Rana Siu Inboden and Sophie Richardson

Authoritarian influence in multilateral institutions is growing rapidly and poses a serious threat to democratic and human rights principles. Repressive governments have worked to undermine mechanisms that are meant to ensure accountability for human rights abuses and to transform the United Nations, its related bodies, and other international institutions into fora for mutual praise. Both the Chinese Communist Party and the Kremlin are working to subvert human rights norms, peddle favorable narratives, and oppose resolutions examining their poor human rights records. Democratic societies must rally behind the global human rights system and ensure that it remains capable of assisting activists and victims around the world.   

International Forum report author and senior fellow with the Robert S. Strauss Center at The University of Texas at Austin, Rana Siu Inboden, and China Director at Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, sat down with Christopher Walker, vice president for studies and analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy, for a discussion on this crucial challenge to global democratic integrity. This episode highlights key moments from this conversation. 

This podcast was adapted from a launch event for Dr. Inboden’s excellent report, “Defending the Human Rights System from Authoritarian Assault: How Democracies Can Retake the Initiative,” published by the Forum. To watch the full event, visit the National Endowment for Democracy’s YouTube channel. 

For further insights on modern authoritarian influence, check out the International Forum’s companion blog, “Power 3.0 Understanding Modern Authoritarian Influence.” You can find additional research on the NED website and join the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter. 

The views expressed in this podcast represent the opinions and analysis of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for Democracy or its staff. Photo Credit: [Ana Maria Serrano/Getty Images].