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ECPR Summer School in Methods & Techniques 2020

Regime Learning under Authoritarianism

Comparative Politics
Panel Number
Panel Chair
André Bank
German Institute of Global And Area Studies
Panel Discussant
Carolin Görzig
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies – MPIfG

09/09/2016 11:00 - 12:40
Building: Faculty of Arts Floor: 2 Room: FA209
Recent scholarship has increasingly examined the international dimensions of authoritarian rule, stressing that regime trajectories cannot be adequately accounted for from a solely ‘methodologically nationalist’ perspective. Among this emerging field of study, agency-oriented research on regime learning under authoritarianism is still in its infancy, even though strong anecdotal evidence from state elite behaviour in regional waves of contention (e.g. the “Arab uprisings” or the “Colour revolutions”) as well as during electoral contests or in the implementation of policy innovations suggest its broad, in some cases even decisive political relevance.

This panel aims at addressing this lacunae in research of regime learning under authoritarianism. Following Jack Levy, it understands learning broadly as “the change of beliefs, skills, or procedures based on the observation and interpretation of experience” (1994: 296). In order to better capture the different facets of regime learning, it differentiates between its sources (temporally: past vs. present; spatially: at home vs. abroad), processes (who learns which contents) and effects (policy change vs. continuity). The panel brings together four papers studying regime learning in different world regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Middle East) and in different issue areas (term limits violations, NGO and terrorism legislation, election-rigging, legitimation of repression). The contributions are all based on strong qualitative evidence, a precondition to examine learning processes under the methodologically challenging conditions of often opaque authoritarianism.

Paper List

Title Details
Adopt and Adapt: Authoritarian Learning in post-Soviet Kazakhstan View Paper Details
Authoritarian Learning, Regional Diffusion, and Domestic Factors: How Egypt and Uzbekistan Seek to Legitimize Repression View Paper Details
Justifying term limit violations: How did the authoritarian regimes in Burundi and Rwanda learn from past regional successes and failures? View Paper Details
Learning to Rig Elections: Evidence from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan View Paper Details
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