Published 7:19 AM ET, Wed September 26, 2012
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Dobson says that under Vladimir Putin, the Russian government has passed a raft of laws that enable the authorities to squash activists with fines and prison sentences. AFP/Getty Images
In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez has engineered the electoral rules with some of the world's most sophisticated gerrymandering, according to Dobson. AFP/Getty Images
In King Abdullah's Jordan, Dobson says the government has proposed one reform after another -- without ever curbing the monarchy's true power. Getty Images
In Malaysia, when people protested the banning of street demonstrations, Prime Minister Najib Razak referred to them as a "sign of a mature democracy" -- the perfectly tailored reply of the modern authoritarian, according to Dobson. Getty Images
Syria offers a daily reminder than some dictators still opt for a bloodbath -- much like his father, Bashar al-Assad has tried to crush a rebellion through force. Dobson says Assad's government will never win back its legitimacy. AFP/Getty Images/file