Over the past few years, authoritarian regimes have become more confident, supporting each other against demands for democratization promoted either by domestic or external actors. This phenomenon became recently evident in Hong Kong, Ukraine, and many countries affected by the Arab uprisings, most notably Syria and Bahrain. Academic debates about a ‘reverse wave’ of democratization, the expansion of non-democratic rule, and a ‘backlash against democracy promotion’ have been controversial. The international diffusion and cooperation of authoritarian rulers is an important emerging field of study. This podium discussion seeks to shed light on these dynamics by bringing together renowned scholars with expertise in various world regions, such as East Asia, the Middle East, and the post-Soviet space. It offers a comparative perspective on globally relevant developments yielding critical implications for the chances of democracy promotion and democratization.
All participants in the podium discussion are members of a new international research network entitled "International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes" (IDCAR), which is coordinated by the GIGA and funded by the Leibniz Association.