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Authoritarianism’s Last Line of Defense
Journal of Democracy (2010)
  • Andreas Schedler
The new electoral authoritarian regimes of the post–Cold War have set up the full panoply of liberal-democratic institutions—from constitutions to constitutional courts, from legislatures to agencies of accountability, from judicial systems to federal arrangements, from independent media to civic associations. Most important of all, they hold regular multiparty elections at all levels of state power. In their institutional forms, these regimes are virtually indistinguishable from liberal democracies. Yet authoritarian rulers invariably compensate for these formal concessions with substantive controls. While renouncing the suppression of representative institutions, electoral authoritarian regimes specialize in their manipulation. The article delineates a broad range of “menus of manipulation” in diverse institutional arenas.
  • authoritarian regimes,
  • institutions,
  • manipulation,
  • repression
Publication Date
January, 2010
Citation Information
Andreas Schedler. "Authoritarianism’s Last Line of Defense" Journal of Democracy Vol. 21 Iss. 1 (2010)
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