Authoritarian Landscapes: Popular Mobilization and the by Steve Hess

By Steve Hess

The turbulent yr of 2011 has introduced the looks of mass renowned unrest and the cave in of lengthy lived autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and probably Syria. The unexpected and unanticipated fall of those regimes – frequently considered exemplars of authoritarian resilience - has introduced a lot of the traditional knowledge at the toughness and vulnerability of nondemocratic regimes into query. This e-book seeks to improve the prevailing literature through treating the autocratic country now not as a unitary actor characterised via power or weak point yet relatively as a constitution or terrain that may however inhibit or facilitate the looks of nationwide point types of protests. within the mode of the Arab Spring, the colour revolutions of the previous Soviet Union, and the folks energy flow of the Philippines, such hobbies conquer the daunting impediments offered through autocrats, entice likeminded opposite numbers throughout society, and weigh down the facility of regimes to keep up order. Conversely, in different settings, akin to modern China, decentralized nation constructions offer an inhospitable atmosphere for national-level protest, prime collective actors to choose extra neighborhood and parochial kinds of rivalry. This end result produces paradoxical occasions, equivalent to within the PRC, the place protests are common yet national-level mobilization and coordination is absent.

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Extra info for Authoritarian Landscapes: Popular Mobilization and the Institutional Sources of Resilience in Nondemocracies

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Later scholars of contentious politics have argued that the appearance of this novel form of political organization—the modern nation-state—has been intimately linked to the appearance of nationwide movements of popular contention. According to Tarrow (1994): As the activities of national states expanded and penetrated society, they also caused the targets of collective action to shift from private and local actors to national centers of decision-making. The national state not only centralized the targets of collective action; it involuntarily provided a fulcrum for…standard forms of collective action (Tarrow 1994, 72).

In short, global pressures as well as general thinking on economic strategy were shifting by the end of the 1970s, compelling national leaders to transfer a growing share of state authority and resources from the center to the periphery in the interest of maintaining economic competitiveness. Secondly, scholars have also attributed increasing decentralization throughout much of the world as a result of the “third wave” of democracy beginning in the 1970s (Huntington 1991a, b). This causal relationship is derived from both an assumed link between federalism and democracy in conventional political thought and observations made by researchers studying the consolidation of third wave democracies.

3 Decentralization of Coercion In addition to functional decentralization, which includes fiscal, administrative, and regulatory variants, I also refer to the decentralization of a state’s coercive resources and the discretion over suppressing popular opponents.  1, a number of scholars (Skocpol 1979; Way 2008; Levitsky and Way 2010, pp. 56–61) have found that the presence of an effective internal security apparatus is central to the resilience of authoritarian regimes. This institution is indispensable to an autocrat, enabling him/her to “monitor, co-opt, intimidate, and repress potential opponents, both within and outside the regime” (Levitsky and Way 2010, p.

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