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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Non-Democratic Politics

Authoritarianism, Dictatorship and Democratization

ISBN 9781137486318
Publication Date November 2016
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Since the nineteenth century, there has been a slow transformation in the nature of the norms that regulate political competition and the uses of state power. Monarchies whose legitimating principles appealed to divine sanction have steadily given way to republican regimes normatively grounded in appeals to 'the people.' Ideals of liberty, equality and solidarity have gained ground relative to ideals of hierarchy and dependence. Yet while in some ways the world is more democratic now than ever, new forms of non-democracy and new justifications for it have emerged. Drawing on a wide variety of examples and data from around the world, this important new text provides a global account of the history and theory of non-democratic government over the past two centuries.

Grounded in the most recent social science research, it shows how non-democratic regimes have ruled through many different institutions, from parties to armies to dynastic families, and examines the economic and social performance of these different types of non-democracy, as well as the development of justifications for them. It discusses how over the last century personal dictatorships and totalitarian regimes have given way to hybrid regimes combining electoral competition with various restrictions on the ability of parties and other social groups to effectively compete for control of the state. The book assesses the processes through which non-democratic regimes change, and sometimes democratize, from cultural change and economic development to collective action and revolution.

Offering a cutting-edge analysis of the complex issue of non-democratic politics, this is the perfect introduction for students with an interest in how authoritarianism exerts itself in the modern age.  

Xavier Márquez is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

1. Introduction: Democracy, Non-Democracy, and the Varieties of Political Competition
2. The Changing Face of Non-Democratic Rule
3. The Struggle over Social Control: Totalitarian and Authoritarian Rule
4. Personal Rule
5. Parties
6. Armies
7. Dynastic Families
8. Problems of Non-Democratic Consolidation and Control
9. Benevolent Authoritarianism
10. The Roots of Regime Change and Democratization
11. How do Regimes Changes? Contentious Politics and its Diffusion
12. Conclusion: The Uncertainty of Democratization


‘Consistently evidence-based and notably up-to-date on relevant scholarship, this book provides an excellently comprehensive coverage of the major facets of non-democratic regimes in the world today. It is a very impressive accomplishment.’ – William Reisinger, University of Iowa, USA
‘Marquez has done us all an enormous service in this empirically rich and beautifully written book that explores the changing face of authoritarian rule. This important contribution is a must-read for anyone interested in comparative politics and the study of modern authoritarianism.’ - Karrie J. Koesel, University of Notre Dame, USA
’Theoretically rigorous and empirically engaging, the book offers a comprehensive guide to the present state of non-democratic politics around the world. It does a great service to the field of comparative authoritarianism and should be read by scholars and students alike.’ – Lee Morgenbesser, Griffith University, Australia
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