Recent years have seen a renewed academic interest in autocracies. Particular attention has been devoted to the role that formal institutions can play in terms of supporting authoritarian rule. New typologies of authoritarian regimes have been developed and the links between different types of such regimes and their longevity have been analysed. Game-theoretical models have been used to illuminate the political economy and internal dynamics of dictatorships. Notably, European contributions to this new debate on authoritarianism have so far been scarce. Moreover, a number of research questions remain yet to be tackled.
The workshop aims at bringing European (and other) political scientists working on autocracies together and at filling some of the lacunae in the debate. In the first part of the workshop, papers should either delineate new theoretical, conceptual, and/or methodological approaches or critically revisit older approaches to explaining and understanding the durability, dynamics, and eventual demise of autocracies. The second part of the workshop will focus on empirical analyses of the ‘input’ and ‘output’ dimensions of authoritarian rule. With respect to the first dimension, papers are sought which either build on recent institutional explanations of authoritarian durability or focus on other, more neglected pillars/mechanisms/sources of the reproduction of autocracies. With respect to the ‘output dimension’, papers are sought which either examine the performance or behaviour of autocracies per se in given (policy) areas or which explain the varying performance of autocracies in a given area.