Why do dictators have such strange pop-culture tastes?

"Apparently, the Syrian dictator is a big fan of contemporary party music. But Bashar is far from the first dictator to have a strange relationship with pop culture. From Frank Sinatra to LMFAO, TNR takes a look back at the odd cultural tastes of some of history’s most ruthless rulers."

- TNR Staff, The Strange Pop-Culture Tastes of Dictators

What’s next for North Korea?

"When Americans talked or wrote about Kim Jong Il, we often tended to play up his eccentricities. Kim Jong Il may have been an eccentric, but he was, first and foremost, the cruelest man of our time." - The Editors

For more, read why Kim Jong Il was “The Worst Man" and see a list of the most terrible crimes of the world’s cruelest dictator, here.

The death of Kim Jong-Il is not only an opportunity to reflect on the manifest crimes he committed against the people of North Korea, but it is also an opportunity to consider just how heavily his devious regime now weighs in calculations about international security.

The uncertain future of North Korea is a matter of grave importance to five countries—the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea—that have intermittently engaged with it since the Six-Party Talks.

Read Gilbert Rozman’s take on how each of these countries will respond to the ongoing succession crisis and what it will mean for global security.

Photo courtesy of the Telegraph.

Over the weekend, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi lost his grip on a title that he had held, with no signs of relinquishing, for many decades. Yes, you guessed it: the World’s Ugliest Dictator. With the colonel’s departure, there is an unprecedented opportunity for an enterprising and ugly dictator to step in and claim the top spot. But who’s the most qualified? Without further ado, TNR brings you the new, post-Qaddafi-era rankings of the top ten ugliest dictators in the world.