The Psychology of Dictatorship and Democracy

Fathali Moghaddam
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology,
Georgetown University

In spite of centuries of political development, dictatorial and repressive leaders continue to emerge and rule in countries throughout the world, including in established democracies. This poses a number of crucial questions about the emergence of these dictators, as well as the systems—and participants—that enable their rise to power. For example, what are the conditions that allow for the development of dictatorship in a system ostensibly designed to prevent it? What are dictators’ strategies, and why do they work? What does it mean to be a citizen in this context? And what does this phenomenon indicate about the foundations and future of democracy as a political system? Professor Fathali Moghaddam will address these and other questions in this talk. Professor Moghaddam is a renowned scholar in social and political psychology, including international systems, political plasticity, and conflict resolution.