Modernization and Authoritarianism

Issue Date July 2018
Volume 29
Issue 3
Page Numbers 129-140
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Why have moves toward democratic governance petered out over the last decade, while authoritarian regimes have remained resilient? A distinction must be made between political liberalism’s “intrinsic” appeal and its “instrumental” appeal. In recent years, the latter has been eroded by the faltering economic performance of democracies and the comparative resurgence of authoritarian regimes. Such an “authoritarian resurgence” can be seen not only across macroeconomic indicators such as shares of global income or investment, but also by composite governance measures. A new model of capitalist authoritarianism is on the rise, with significant consequences for the global prospects of democracy in the twenty-first century.

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