To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Liberal democracy is under siege. Conservative and reactionary political forces are undermining democratic processes to such an extent that we may be witnessing the emergence of hybrid political systems composed of democratic and dictatorial components. Brazil since 2018 is presented as an example of this dangerous degradation of liberal democracy. The chapter identifies the four main components of this process: electing autocrats, the plutocratic virus, fake news and algorithms, and the hijacking of institutions.
Chapter 10 concludes the book by suggesting two potential lines of inquiry that emerge from the discussion of role-based constitutional fellowship. First, the chapter suggests that future research should consider how non-citizens should be treated in a liberal democracy. Second, the chapter suggests that future research should consider how liberal democrats should respond to liberal democracy’s enemies.
By considering the history of bioethics and international humanitarian law, Joseph J. Fins contends that bioethics as an academic and moral community should stand in solidarity with Ukraine as it defends freedom and civility.
This article analyzes the impact of Augusto Pinochet’s autocracy on the Chilean economy. The study compares outcomes under Pinochet’s leadership with those in a synthetic counterfactual made of a weighted average of countries with similar characteristics. It finds that, relative to the control, Chilean income per capita greatly underperformed for at least the first fifteen years after Pinochet’s coup. The results are robust to extending the pool of donor countries and expanding the pretreatment period by switching data sets to capture potential heterogeneity of effects. The evidence suggests that Chile’s remarkable economic growth during the period 1985–1997 did not depend on Pinochet’s autocracy. These results further bring into question the effectiveness of the regime to enhance economic growth and the narrative of the Chilean miracle.
Costa Rica suspended payments on its London debt in 1901, at the beginning of a democratisation process and during a crisis in the world coffee market. Meanwhile, autocratic Nicaragua, also a coffee exporter, continued paying its foreign creditors. This article assesses the causes of these distinct outcomes, which are at odds with the influential hypothesis that democracy makes for better borrowers. Strongly represented in Congress, Costa Rica's coffee elite pushed for the end of a tax on coffee as the legislative became more powerful. The executive had used that revenue to service the debt, which went on default as a consequence. Politics were radically different in Nicaragua: coffee growers were weaker and President Zelaya ruled without legislative tutelage. Hence, his government could raise a similar tax to honour the sovereign debt. With a clean record, the dictator borrowed abroad to build a modern army, the backbone of his autocratic regime.
Two dominant explanations for ethnic bias in distributional outcomes are electoral incentives and out-group prejudice. This article proposes a novel and complementary explanation for the phenomenon: variation in legibility across ethnic groups. The author argues that states will allocate fewer resources to groups from which they cannot gather accurate information or collect taxes. The argument is supported by original data on state aid from the 1891/1892 famine in the Russian Empire. Qualitative and quantitative analyses show that districts with a larger Muslim population experienced higher famine mortality and received less generous public assistance. The Muslims, historically ruled via religious intermediaries, were less legible to state officials and generated lower fiscal revenues. State officials could not count on the repayment of food loans or collect tax arrears from Muslim communes, so they were more likely to withhold aid. State relief did not vary with the presence of other minorities that were more legible and generated more revenue.
Which psychological orientations form the cultural foundations of political regimes? To answer this question, I demonstrate as a point of departure that (1) the countries’ membership in culture zones explains some 70% of the global variation in autocracy-vs-democracy and (2) that this culture-bound variation has remained astoundingly constant over time – in spite of all the trending patterns in the global distribution of regime types over the last 120 years. Furthermore, the explanatory power of culture zones over autocracy-vs-democracy roots in the cultures’ differentiation on 'authoritarian-vs-emancipative values'. Against this backdrop, regime change happens as a result of glacially accruing regime-culture misfits – driven by generational value shifts into a predominantly emancipatory direction. Consequently, the backsliding of democracies into authoritarianism is limited to societies in which emancipative values remain underdeveloped. Contrary to the widely cited deconsolidation-thesis, the prevalent generational profile in people’s moral orientations exhibits an almost ubiquitous ascension of emancipative values that will lend more, not less, legitimacy to democracy in the future.
By the end of the nineteenth century, social hygiene was a topic of great importance for states experiencing fears of national degeneration. The health of children was of particular concern, as it was thought to reflect the future health of the nation. Although this prompted nation-states like France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States to develop intricate theories about the prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses, it was imperial Russia that became an unacknowledged trailblazer in the institutionalization and implementation of school hygiene measures. As this article will show, autocratic Russia's institutions and ideology allowed the tsarist state to surpass its Western neighbors in the drawing up and application of school hygiene measures.
How do discontented masses and opposition elites work together to engineer a change in electoral authoritarian regimes? Social movements and elections are often seen as operating in different terrains – outside and inside institutions, respectively. In this Element, I develop a theory to describe how a broad-based social movement that champions a grievance shared by a wide segment of the population can build alliances across society and opposition elites that, despite the rules of the game rigged against them, vote the incumbents out of power. The broad-based nature of the movement also contributes to the cohesion of the opposition alliance, and elite defection, which are often crucial for regime change. This Element examines the 2018 Malaysian election and a range of cases from other authoritarian regimes across Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa to illustrate these arguments.
This chapter engages with theories of democratic origin and persistence, late developing states (following Gerschenkron), and workforce dependencies in post-communist settings to suggest how understanding the genesis of the middle class/bourgeoisie in imperial Russia, and distinguishing it from a middle class that is state-fabricated rapidly as part of communist late development catch-up, could help refine theories of the links between the bourgeoisie/middle class and democracy. Based on analysis of author-gathered regional and district data on estate structure and voting for the imperial First, Second, Third, and Fourth Dumas and post-communist parliament, and ascertaining that the “old” middle class exhibits greater democratic proclivities than the “new,” I corroborate the theory of a two-pronged middle class. I first explain how unpacking the genesis, resilience, and political orientations of the multilayered stratum of the educated estates nuances ongoing debates about the interaction between distinct sets of legacies associated with pre-communist and communist regimes. Next, I present analysis that systematically extrapolates the insights from the dissection of the reproduction of the social structure to explain variations in subnational democratic quality in Russia. I also perform a placebo test demonstrating how the deportation of entire communities, the Volga Germans, wipes out the effect of a social legacy.
This chapter discusses how the preceding analysis has wider, portable, comparative implications for understanding the drivers of variations in shades of authoritarianism and illiberalism in other communist legacy countries. I structure the chapter as follows. I first sketch out an analytical framework for a comparative analysis of two new cases: Hungary and China. The section also delineates limitations of scope and restrictions in applications to the universe of communist states and beyond. I then proceed to analyze each case with reference to the key variables of interest. A final section concludes with reflections on the utility of the framework for understanding social inequalities and the long shadow of premodern societies in effecting democratic vulnerabilities and resilience in the present-day illiberal world.
There are conflicting theoretical expectations regarding students' protest behaviour in contemporary autocracies. On the one hand, in line with a resource model of political participation, university students are more likely to protest than their peers without higher education. On the other hand, university students in autocracies might refrain from high-risk activism in exchange for their own financial well-being and career advancement. To address this debate, the article leverages data on anti-corruption protests organized by the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in March 2017. Results show that anti-corruption protests were larger in Russian cities with a larger university student population. Next, employing individual-level data from the fifth wave of the European Values Survey, multinomial logistic regression analysis demonstrates that university students participated in demonstrations at a higher rate than non-students of the same age. More broadly, these findings yield insights into subnational variation in mass mobilization in a repressive political regime.
Local governments in autocracies typically undercompensate residents for their land and take it through eminent domain, while residents lack effective formal channels for bargaining with them. I find that some residents nonetheless can defend against such predation through extralegal land bargaining. By sending resistance signals to challenge the legitimacy of local governments, publicize their grievances, and garner public sympathy, such residents embarrass governments, make it likely higher-level governments will punish local governments, and spur concessions. Such signals, however, are often costly or unavailable, so only resistant entrepreneurs can send them. I illustrate the argument by treating ‘nail-house resistance’ in China as a resistance signal: by refusing to vacate their houses, engaging in violence or self-burning, or turning to the media, some residents stop land takings or gain compensation. The findings enrich our understanding of the political and moral economy of land bargaining and institutional change in a transitional autocracy.
This chapter presents some basic descriptive data on core behavior in international law, including the formation and interpretation of international law, participation in multilateral treaty regimes, the conclusion of bilateral treaties, and the willingness to bring disputes before international courts and tribunals. In every area, democratic governance shows substantially greater propensity to engage international law, relative to autocratic governments.
Democracies and authoritarian regimes have different approaches to international law, grounded in their different forms of government. As the balance of power between democracies and non-democracies shifts, it will have consequences for international legal order. Human rights may face severe challenges in years ahead, but citizens of democratic countries may still benefit from international legal cooperation in other areas. Ranging across several continents, this volume surveys the state of democracy-enhancing international law, and provides ideas for a way forward in the face of rising authoritarianism.
Dictators depend on a committed bureaucracy to implement their policy preferences. But how do they induce loyalty and effort within their civil service? The authors study indoctrination through forced military service as a cost-effective strategy for achieving this goal. Conscription allows the regime to expose recruits, including future civil servants, to intense “political training” in a controlled environment, which should improve system engagement. To test this hypothesis, the authors analyze archival data on over 370,000 cadres from the former German Democratic Republic. Exploiting the introduction of mandatory service in the gdr in 1962 for causal identification, they find a positive effect of conscription on bureaucrats’ system engagement. Additional analyses indicate that this effect likely did not result from deep norm internalization. Findings are more compatible with the idea that political training familiarized recruits with elite preferences, allowing them to behave strategically in accordance with the rules of the game.
What happens to state bureaucracies when authoritarianism emerges? How do autocrats seek to use the administration to their ends? This chapter addresses these questions, analyzing Venezuela as a typical or representative case. Venezuela has been a (more or less) functioning democracy since 1958. Within the system of the so-called "Puntofijismo," major parties agreed to a consensual model of democracy, sharing offices and distributing revenues of the oil rent. The public administration supported and managed the distribution. This led to stability and wealth in regional comparison. In 1998, Hugo Chávez, a former military officer and failed putschist, assumed the presidency in Venezuela. In the following years, but especially under president Maduro, Venezuela experienced a severe decline of democracy and is today clearly an authoritarian regime. In this chapter, we analyze the strategies of the Chavista governments vis-à-vis the administration. We identify three main strategies to sideline the established bureaucracy: first, repression and firing; second, circumventing and neglecting, which means creating a "parallel state"; and third, militarization of the "civil" service.
This revisionist history of succession to the throne in early modern Russia, from the Moscow princes of the fifteenth century to Peter the Great, argues that legal primogeniture never existed: the monarch designated an heir that was usually the eldest son only by custom, not by law. Overturning generations of scholarship, Paul Bushkovitch persuasively demonstrates the many paths to succession to the throne, where designation of the heir and occasional elections were part of the relations of the monarch with the ruling elite, and to some extent the larger population. Exploring how the forms of designation evolved over the centuries as Russian culture changed, and in the later seventeenth century made use of Western practices, this study shows how, when Peter the Great finally formalized the custom in 1722 by enshrining the power of the tsar to designate in law, this was not a radical innovation but was in fact consistent with the experience of the previous centuries.
The world responded in many different ways to the coronavirus epidemic. Why is that? Three obvious solutions present themselves: different understandings of the nature of the disease and how to tackle it, the nature of the political system in each nation, the history of how pandemics had been dealt with in the past in each country. Upon inspection, none of these explanations seems to work. The scientific understanding of the disease and its means of spreading were broadly similar in all nations. Only at the margins did unorthodox theories hold sway. Most nations claimed to be following expert advice, but what the experts advised differed. Politicians could pick and choose among the counsels they received. Both democracies and autocracies tried each of the three possible approaches to the pandemic, targeted quarantine, broad lockdown, or a hands-off approach. And nations did not obviously follow the tactics they had used in previous epidemics. The heavy hand of past public health interventions, with the state compelling citizens to follow behavioral prescriptions, was harder to implement today.
In the medieval and early modern West succession to the throne of monarchs proceeded by primogeniture, with some explicit legal basis. In medieval Russia political theory as such did not exist. Monarchy was understood in the context of Orthodoxy. The main form of discussion was in texts that provided images of good and bad monarchs, primarily chronicles, world histories, and the lives of saintly princes. In Russia succession was frequently collateral, a system that caused many disputes until the middle of the fifteenth century.