The Three Pillars of Stability - Towards an Explanation for the Durability of Autocratic Regimes in East Asia
30 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010 Last revised: 19 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2010
The aim of the paper is twofold. On the one hand, it proposes a conjunctural theory for the stability (and change) of autocratic regimes that is based on three interdependent pillars: legitimation, repression and co-optation. It is argued that these three pillars provide an autocracy with vital functions to maintain stability over time. In the course of the paper, emphasis is put on concept-building. On the other hand, the paper tries to make sense of the heterogeneous picture East Asia presents. While there are as many autocracies that have initiated democratization processes as autocracies that have remained stable in this region, the paper tries to find explanations for this phenomenon by making methodically use of fuzzy set QCA. Against the backdrop of the three pillar theory, first preliminary empirical results will be shown. The paper identifies different stabilizing paths which suggest an empirically based, typological distinction of stable autocracies that follow either an over- or a de-politicizing path. It is argued that these autocratic regimes are not just different in degree, but different in kind.
Keywords: Autocracy, East Asia, Stability, Authoritarianism
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