André Bank / Mirjam Edel

Authoritarian Regime Learning: Comparative Insights from the Arab Uprisings

GIGA Working Papers | 2015


  • Series

    GIGA Working Papers

    Series Number

    274

    Number of Pages

    27

    Publisher

    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Location

    Hamburg

    Abstract

    This paper examines the learning of authoritarian regimes in the early phase of the Arab uprisings. Differentiating conceptually between learning and policy change, we analyze and compare the authoritarian regimes of Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, and Syria and their reactions to the challenge of "late riser" oppositional protests. We first show that the four regimes initiated very diverse measures in the domains of repression, material co‐optation, and legal reforms. With regard to the sources of learning, we find that proximity is a determining factor, in terms of both geography and political similarity. Using the case of Bahrain, we then demonstrate that structural factors such as internal power structures, regional and international pressures, or state capacity can decisively constrain the implementation of learning‐induced policy change. Overall, the paper aims to contribute to the emerging research on the international dimension of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and beyond.

    Research Project | 01/07/2014 - 30/06/2019

    International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes - IDCAR-Network

    In politics and political science alike, the increasing international influence of authoritarian regimes has become a central concern around the globe. From 2014-2019, the IDCAR network brought together some of the most renowned scholars in the field to produce high-level research and, based on this, policy advice and public outreach.
    Leibniz Association, 2014-2019

    Julia Bader

    Jason Brownlee

    Valerie Bunce

    Prof. Dr. Aurel Croissant

    May Darwich

    Jun. Prof. Thomas Demmelhuber

    Marlies Glasius

    Marianne Kneuer

    Karrie Koesel

    Wolfgang Merkel

    Christoph H. Stefes

    Oisin Tansey

    Lucan Way

    Prof. Dr. Kurt Weyland

    Prof. Dr. Laurence Whitehead

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