The Endurance of Autocrats Essay

The Endurance of Autocrats Essay

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According to Lipset’s modernization theory the more economically developed a country is, the more likely that democratization will occur as Lipset’s theory states that “Democracy is secreted out of dictatorship by economic development” (Prezweorski & Limongi, 1997:157). This is explained by the thought that economic development brings complexity to social structures making them harder to control; in addition, technological advancement has allowed autonomy and privacy when information is concerned and the role played by (Prezweorski &Limongi, 1997:157). When there is room for autonomy varies groups whether their elitists or not begin to feel like they can challenge autocratic rule thus prompting political reform (Prezweorski &Limongi, 1997:157). This theory ultimately insinuates that authoritarian regimes that have endured have done so because of the lack of development in that particular state. Written during the second wave of democracy, Lipset’s modernization theory is not a phenomenon that would adequately explain what causes democratization nor would it explain why authoritarian regimes endure in contemporary politics. States such as Russia and Egypt exhibit characteristics and traits associated with economic development yet it autocracy is still deeply entrenched in those nationms. Jason Brownlee’s book Authoritarianism in an Age of Democracy aims to explain why and how regimes in countries like Russia and Egypt have managed to retain autocratic rule in an era where information, ideas and philosophies of liberation have led to great political reform over the past 25 years. This review will be using concepts by various authors that try to explain why authoritarian regimes endure in light of Brownlee’s book. Findings will concl...


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... Democratization. 20(1): 13–38. Available:
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Hauslohner, A. 2014. Egypt's 'Military Inc' Expands its Control of the Economy. The Guardian. 18 March. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/18/egypt-military-economy-power-elections [accessed 15 April 2014].

Hague, R. & Harrop, M. 2013. An Introduction: Comparative Government and Politics, 9thedn. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. 58-75.Available:
http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGcQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.palgrave.com%2Fpolitics%2Fhague%2Fabout%2F9780230_368156_05_Ch04.pdf&ei=-TZMU_-GGeic0AX3koGADg&usg=AFQjCNH8dAKyWrX0I4G9MP1gW9xiowhHtg&bvm=bv.64542518,d.d2k [accessed 13 April 2014].

Przeworski,A & Limongi,F. 1997. Modernization: Theories and Facts. World Politics. 49(2): 155-183.

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