Mirjam Edel / Maria Josua

How Authoritarian Rulers Seek to Legitimise Repression: Framing Mass Killings in Egypt and Uzbekistan

GIGA Working Papers | 2017

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    GIGA Working Papers

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    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)




    How do authoritarian rulers legitimate repressive actions against their own citizens? Even in autocracies with limited accountability, discursive justifications are often put forward to decrease the costs of domestic repression. Although the research depicts state repression as the opposite of legitimation, justified coercion against some groups may generate legitimacy in the eyes of other parts of the population. This paper conceptualises the suggested links between legitimation and repression. It studies the justifications of mass killings by integrating framing theory with recent research on the domestic and international dimensions of authoritarian rule. Given the common threats at the global level and the diffusion of repressive tactics, we assume that discursive justifications of repression in authoritarian regimes change over time, probably due to learning processes. We compare Egypt and Uzbekistan to analyse the government rhetoric in the Rabi‘a and Ferghana Valley protest crackdowns, respectively, taking into account the audiences of the framing and the sources of the frames that justify repression.

    Dr. Mirjam Edel


    GIGA Focus Latin America | 7/2018

    The Return of the Military

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Lead Research Fellow / General Editor GIGA Focus Editor GIGA Focus Global

    Dr. Adam Scharpf

    Formerly Research Fellow

    Democratization | 2018

    How Authoritarian Rulers Seek to Legitimize Repression: Framing Mass Killings in Egypt and Uzbekistan

    Dr. Mirjam Edel

    Dr. Maria Josua

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson


    Authoritarian Learning, Regional Diffusion, and Domestic Factors: How Egypt and Uzbekistan Seek to Legitimize Repression

    Conference 09/09/2016


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