Across the world, democracy is in retreat, but that's not the case in Southeast Asia's two biggest Muslim countries: Malaysia and Indonesia

by Max Walden

In October, Latin America's most populous nation, Brazil, elected as president Jair Bolsonaro, a former military man and historically fringe, far-right senator known for his pro-gun, pro-torture views. In 1999, he told Brazilian television, "Elections won't change anything in this country. It will only change on the day that we break out in civil war here and do the job that the military regime didn't do: killing 30,000. If some innocent people die, that's fine. In every war, innocent people die." Elsewhere in the world, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan, Viktor Orban and Rodrigo Duterte are some of the names that have dominated headlines as leaders who are spearheading the world's reported march towards authoritarianism.

In January, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index for 2018 reported that electoral democracy was continuing its "disturbing retreat" the world over. The TIME magazine recently declared that "a new archetype of leader has emerged. We're now in the strongman era." (More via Aljazeera)