Publication

A Licence to Govern in the Post-Soviet States

How do authoritarian rulers justify their claims to power? Christian von Soest and Julia Grauvogel inspect the legitimation strategies of post-Soviet regimes.

The analysis using the new Regime Legitimation Expert Survey (RLES) demonstrates that non‐democratic rulers in post‐Soviet countries use specific combinations of legitimating claims to stay in power.

Most notably, rulers claim to be the guardians of citizens’ socioeconomic well‐being. Second, despite recurrent infringements on political and civil rights, they maintain that their power is rule‐based and embodies the will of the people, as they have been given popular electoral mandates. Third, they couple these elements with inputbased legitimation strategies that focus on nationalist ideologies, the personal capabilities and charismatic aura of the rulers, and the regime’s foundational myth.

Overall, the reliance on these input‐based strategies is lower in the western post‐Soviet Eurasian countries and very pronounced among the authoritarian rulers of Central Asia.

Christian von Soest / Julia Grauvogel, How Do Non-Democratic Regimes Claim Legitimacy? Comparative Insights from Post-Soviet Countries, GIGA Working Paper, No. 277, August 2015

Expert

Dr. Julia Grauvogel

Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-566julia.grauvogel@giga-hamburg.de

Expert

Dr. Christian von Soest

Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-590christian.vonsoest@giga-hamburg.de

GIGA Working Papers | 06/2015

Authoritarian Regime Learning: Comparative Insights from the Arab Uprisings

Dr. André Bank

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Mirjam Edel

GIGA Working Papers | 08/2015

How Do Non-Democratic Regimes Claim Legitimacy? Comparative Insights from Post-Soviet Countries

Dr. Christian von Soest

Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

Dr. Julia Grauvogel

Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

European Journal of Political Research | 2015

Democracy Prevention: The International Collaboration of Authoritarian Regimes

Dr. Christian von Soest

Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

Journal of Peace Research | 2015

Not all Dictators Are Equal: Coups, Fraudulent Elections and the Selective Targeting of Democratic Sanctions

Dr. Christian von Soest

Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

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