Samuel Salzborn: Autocracy, Authoritarianims, and Democracy? Conceptual Remarks on Recent Autocracy Research


Recent years have seen intense discussion about the development and evolution of authoritarian regimes. Until now, the relevant literature has largely been written by autocracy researchers, which necessarily circumscribes it with those perspectives inherent to autocracy research. This stands in fundamental contrast with the view undertaken by the treatment at hand, which evaluates autocracy research by giving particular consideration to several more recent publications: Here, the author’s viewpoint is not that of autocracy research, but that of democracy research, and is informed by the basic supposition that the fundamental insights of autocracy research cannot be isolated from those of democracy research; however, in this view, democracy is no more the ‘norm’ than autocracy is the ‘deviant’ – instead, each regime type is conceptually unthinkable without the other one. Therefore, the question here, from the perspective of democracy research, is: What does recent autocracy research offer both conceptually and empirically – and what are its weaknesses?

The following titles were discussed i.a.:
Albrecht, H./Frankenberger, R. (Hrsg.)
: Autoritarismus Reloaded (253); Albrecht, H./Frankenberger, R./Frech, S. (Hrsg.): Autoritäre Regime (257); Rensmann, L./Hagemann, S./Funke, H.: Autoritarismus und Demokratie (257); Beck, M./Harders, C./Jünemann, A./Stetter, S. (Hrsg.): Der Nahe Osten im Umbruch (260); Maćków, J. (Hrsg.): Autoritarismus in Mittel- und Osteuropa (261)

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