By Jason Brownlee

Faraway from sweeping the globe uniformly, the 'third wave of democratization' left burgeoning republics and resilient dictatorships in its wake. utilising greater than a 12 months of unique fieldwork in Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, and the Philippines, Jason Brownlee indicates that the combined list of contemporary democratization is healthier deciphered via a historic and institutional method of authoritarian rule. Exposing the inner businesses that constitution elite clash, Brownlee demonstrates why the severe soft-liners wanted for democratic transitions were dormant in Egypt and Malaysia yet outspoken in Iran and the Philippines. through setting up how ruling events originated and why they abate switch, Brownlee illuminates the matter of latest authoritarianism and informs the merchandising of sturdy democracy.

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Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization

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It builds on three prior literatures (social structural approaches, transitions theories, and the hybrid regimes subfield) to provide an institutionalist theory of regime change and stability. Comparative politics scholars clearly “thrive on political change,” especially the instauration of democracy after years of dictatorship (Bermeo 1990: 359). But in order to explain regime change, we must take stock of regime continuity as well. The first part of this chapter revisits the dialogue between voluntarist and structural approaches by retrospectively testing the explanatory power of several early social structural accounts, which relied on slow-changing socioeconomic variables and were subsequently criticized for minimizing the role of individual agency and leadership.

In the other case, in which ruling parties hold the elite together and provide mechanisms for long-term political security, leaders can resolve differences that would otherwise have escalated. As the architecture of contemporary politics, institutions link early outcomes with recent developments. The conflicts and conditions surrounding party creation play a significant role in determining whether parties sustain coalitions in a self-reinforcing cycle of elite cohesion or disintegrate as disputes intensify.

Voluntarist theories account for shifts between these types or within them, as in the tempestuous regimes that suffered autocratic interregnums during the 1970s. The prime example of this approach is O’Donnell and Schmitter’s Transitions from Authoritarian Rule project, which explicitly examined “rapidly changing situations, where [the] very parameters of political action are in flux” (O’Donnell and Schmitter 1986: 4). In short, structural explanations help explain which regimes are most likely to be durable – that is, better protected from opposition challenges – and which are more likely to be weak, unstable, and otherwise exposed to change.

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