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AUTHORITARIANISM

   

Authoritarianism

Most political regimes across world history have been authoritarian. Modern democracies – and their Ancient precursors – are rare and often late exceptions to an authoritarian rule. Yet contemporary political science too often approaches representative democracies as the norm, consigning authoritarian regimes to a residual mash-up category and only paying attention to them when they look like they might democratize. This course draws upon twenty years of resurgent scholarly interest to take authoritarianism seriously on its own terms. This is not a course about regime collapse or democratization: it is a course about how authoritarianism works. Can we speak of a single authoritarian logic? How should we define and categorize non-democratic regimes? How do such regimes reproduce themselves? And what are their consequences for individuals and societies?