The United States always had difficulty squaring its record on the ground in the Middle East with its efforts to promote rights and democracy. It’s even harder after the Trump presidency and a contested election, which featured the sitting president and many Republicans questioning the integrity of the electoral process without any basis in fact.

The Middle East’s long authoritarian relapse increasingly has echoes in the crisis in the United States. On this episode of “Order from Ashes,” we talk with Amy Hawthorne, deputy director for research at the Project on Middle East Democracy. We discuss the obstacles that the Trump presidency created for aspiring reformers in the Middle East, and assess the emboldened crop of autocrats who will challenge the Biden administration.

Participants include:

  • Amy Hawthorne, deputy director for research, Project on Middle East Democracy
  • Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation