Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University whose research revolves around on fascism, authoritarianism, war, and propaganda. Her work has been supported by Fulbright, Guggenheim, and other fellowships.

The author of seven books and numerous academic journal articles, her latest volume Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present (Norton, 2020) lays out the "playbook" authoritarian leaders on different continents – from Mussolini to Putin – have followed in maintaining power and evading accountability.  She also brings to bear this historical expertise in exploring current threats to democracy and their future implications. As a cultural critic on related topics, her analyses and commentary have been featured in television, radio, podcasts, and online media, including such outlets as the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and CNN.

Ben-Ghiat is an advisor to Protect Democracy and serves on the Board of Directors for World Mental Health Coalition. She holds a PhD in Comparative History from Brandeis University.

Current Research

fascism, authoritarian leaders, propaganda, and threats to democracy around the world and how to counter them