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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

Autocracy Promotion

Autocracy Promotion

(p.411) Chapter 36 Autocracy Promotion
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Antje Kästner

Oxford University Press

By analogy with democracy promotion, this chapter explores the concept of autocracy promotion, referring to policy measures that have the potential to influence another country’s political system with a view to hampering democratization processes or to fostering autocratic regimes. Initially, it is explained that, although autocracy promotion empirically represents nothing new, the term only entered the scientific discourse following the colour revolutions in the former Soviet Union. Subsequently, a narrow and a wide definition of autocracy promotion are presented and illustrated with examples. Political autocracy promotion is focused on potential mobilization events like elections or mass protests and employs the same mechanisms that autocrats employ internally to consolidate their power: they co-opt or suppress the opposition and manipulate public opinion in favour of the incumbent. In contrast, development-oriented autocracy promotion encompasses all measures that potentially enhance the performance of a non-democratic government, thus helping it to stay in power.

Keywords:   autocracy promotion, democracy promotion, external political influence, foreign influence, definition, Russia, China, co-optation, repression

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