By Steve Hess
The turbulent yr of 2011 has introduced the looks of mass well known unrest and the cave in of lengthy lived autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and doubtless Syria. The unexpected and unanticipated fall of those regimes – frequently considered exemplars of authoritarian resilience - has introduced a lot of the traditional knowledge at the longevity and vulnerability of nondemocratic regimes into query. This ebook seeks to enhance the present literature via treating the autocratic country now not as a unitary actor characterised by means of power or weak point yet quite as a constitution or terrain which can however inhibit or facilitate the looks of nationwide point types of protests. within the mode of the Arab Spring, the colour revolutions of the previous Soviet Union, and the folk strength circulation of the Philippines, such hobbies conquer the daunting impediments awarded by means of autocrats, entice likeminded opposite numbers throughout society, and weigh down the power of regimes to keep up order. Conversely, in different settings, comparable to modern China, decentralized country buildings offer an inhospitable atmosphere for national-level protest, top collective actors to select extra neighborhood and parochial varieties of rivalry. This final result produces paradoxical events, akin to within the PRC, the place protests are widespread yet national-level mobilization and coordination is absent.
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Additional info for Authoritarian Landscapes: Popular Mobilization and the Institutional Sources of Resilience in Nondemocracies
By framing their protests against local cadres as defending the laws and regulations promulgated by the center, these “rightful resisters” can seek allies within the state or in the wider public, such as media outlets, and avoid the accusation that they are anti-state or unpatriotic (2, 3). However, by framing their contention in such a way, claimants develop repertoires of contention and bases of support that are conducive to local and particularized but not national, anti-system modes of action.
From the mid-1950s to the 1960s, scholarship examined how British and French colonial administrations gradually transferred governing authority to subnational governments in preparation for these countries’ political independence (Conyers 1984, p. 188; Work 2002, 5). Important early works such as Hicks (1961), Maddick (1963) as well as a number of UN publications on the topic focused on the way in which decentralization could facilitate greater public participation in government, increase the political efficacy of citizens in developing countries, and lessen the burden on central governments to provide public services (Conyers 1983, pp.
This was followed by a turn towards the approaches embracing the centralization of the state (Conyers 1983, p. 98). Scholars such as Gerschenkron (1962) noted that the unique challenges faced by late-developers, namely needing to overcome developmental backwardness and compete in an international environment already dominated by industrialized countries, required a strong centralized state. This body could invest in technology, push unskilled agrarian workers into the industrial workforce, and concentrate society’s limited stock of talent, technology, and resources into large-scale industrial projects (13–20).