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Authoritarian Inclusion? The Political Value Patterns and Inclusion Formulas of Modern Authoritarianism

This projects starts from the observation that in today’s world society even authoritarian regimes face the imperative of individual political inclusion, and it explores the various ways in which they deal with this imperative.

Text on wall.

Basim Magdy “Clowns” (2014/16), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2017. Photo: A. L. Ahlers.

About the project

This project represents both in-depth area studies research, as much as it is pursuing an innovative theoretical approach to the comparative study of authoritarianism which is thoroughly embedded in political science and sociology.

In particular, it will explore if and how authoritarian regimes in today's world society react to the imperative of individual political inclusion characteristic of modernity. Read more about the methods and theory behind the project.

Starting with studies on Mainland China and the so-called Greater China region, the project at a later stage also seeks to incorporate empirical insights from other world regions.

Objectives

Develop theoretical and analytical tools for an approach to modern authoritarianism as a regime type sui generis, and in all its forms, facets and dynamics.

Accurately describe and analyse political phenomena and dynamics observable ‘below’ the level of the authoritarian nation state as the analytical unit, i.e. at multiple levels (i.e. grassroots/community to national and beyond) and in different horizontal subsystems of the political (e.g. parties or mass organizations, public administration/bureaucracy).

Financing and preliminary schedule

The project has received seed money from IKOS and from the career-building program of the Faculty of Humanities at UiO (2016-2021).

On this basis, larger grant applications to the Research Council of Norway and the European Research Council are being prepared.

In the current exploratory phase (2017-2018), the overall theoretical framework will be refined and first in-depth analyses of China/the Chinese region will be conducted.

At later stages, more transregional/globally comparative perspectives will be included, ideally facilitated by a larger project grant (2019-2024).

Partners

Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, University of Bonn (fiw.uni-bonn.de)

Publications

Ahlers, Anna L. and Rudolf Stichweh (2017) “The Bipolarity of Democracy and Authoritarianism: Value Patterns, Inclusion Roles and Forms of Internal Differentiation of Political Systems”, FIW Working Paper No. 9, University of Bonn. (PDF)

Published Mar. 22, 2017 11:52 AM - Last modified Oct. 9, 2017 10:28 AM

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