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About this book

A comprehensive assessment of the nature and evolving character of authoritarian regimes, their changing character and the main theoretical explanations of their incidence, character and performance. The third edition covers the rise of new forms of disguised dictatorship and semi-competitive democracy in the 21st Century.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Abstract
The simplest definition of non-democratic regimes is ‘rule by other means than democracy’, which is taken from the definition of war as ‘politics by other means’ (Clausewitz, 1984 [1832]: 87). Like war between or within states, non-democratic rule appears outdated and yet continues to be a factor in world affairs that requires close attention and careful analysis. However, political science’s main reason for studying non-democratic regimes is that they show why and how a modern state might be ruled by other means than representative democracy. Many states in the past have been ruled ‘by other means’, some still are and more may well be in the future.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 1. Theoretical Approaches

Abstract
The study of non-democratic regimes is blessed or cursed by a bewildering variety of different theoretical approaches. There are three basic reasons for the variety of different approaches: (1) the diverse range of regimes involved; (2) the different aspects of the regimes that different theorists have focused upon; and (3) the ‘sociology of knowledge’ in political science, in terms of how the discipline is organized and operates. As non-democratic regimes include such a diverse range of regimes, it is not surprising that different approaches have been used to deal with the different types, such as military rule or the personal rule of a monarch or personal dictator. Furthermore, some approaches are less concerned with the ‘who rules?’ question than with the question of ‘how do they rule?’ — with the form rather than type of regime. This focus on form is particularly evident in the theories about the famous ‘isms’; the theorists of totalitarianism and authoritarianism are concerned with the level and method of control, while theorists of communism and fascism focus on ideology and policies when identifying examples of communist or fascist regime.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 2. Monarchical and Personal Rule

Abstract
This opening chapter in the book’s description of non-democratic regimes divides its attention between three different sorts of beginning. It covers the monarchical beginning of the regimes’ historical evolution as well as beginning a three-chapter description of the first stage — establishing the regime — in the development of a modern type of regime. The first two sections of the chapter describe monarchical rule, which is the ‘ancestral’ type of non-democratic regime but, in several cases, has survived into the twenty-first century. The third section describes the modern counterpart of monarchy; that is, personal rule by a modern dictator, and links it to the three-phase modernization outlined in the Introduction. Finally, the fourth section describes how such a personal dictatorship is established and then links it to the establishing of military and one-party rule that is described in Chapters 3 and 4.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 3. Establishing Military Rule

Abstract
Unlike the coverage in Chapter 2 of both monarchy and personal dictatorship, this chapter is concerned solely with military rule and, largely, with how this rule is established. It is the first stage in the life-cycle development of a military dictatorship and also, as noted in Chapter 1, may be the preliminary stage in the development of a military leader’s personal dictatorship. It will be described with the aid of a forensic analytical framework that assesses the motive, means and opportunity for the military’s seizure of power and expropriating ‘theft’ of public offices and powers. This forensic framework is presented in the first section of the chapter and then the next three sections consider motive, means and opportunity. The section on motive examines not only the wide range of motives that may motivate the military to seize power, but also the motives that inhibit the military from such interventions in politics. The section on means examines the military coup and threat of a coup as the means of seizing power, but also identifies factors that reduce its capacity and lead to merely factional coups. The section on opportunity examines the wide range of factors that increase or decrease a coup’s chances of success and, therefore, the chances that the military will risk an attempt to seize power. These three sections also combine the three forensic variables to produce a ‘calculus’ of military intervention in politics, which helps to explain and predict the establishing of military rule.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 4. Establishing One-Party Rule

Abstract
This chapter is concerned with the party rather than military type of dictatorship and with how its one-party rule is established — the first stage in the life-cycle development of a party dictatorship. It may also be the preliminary stage in the development of a party leader’s personal dictatorship, as was described in Chapter 2. In fact, one-party rule has surprisingly often degenerated into this personal rule by a party leader, including the notorious totalitarian cases of Hitler and Stalin. Nonetheless, the establishing of one-party rule is best described by applying the same analytical framework — assessing motive, means and opportunity — that Chapter 3 applied to the establishing of military rule. Therefore, the present chapter’s first three sections examine motive, means and opportunity in the now familiar fashion.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 5. Consolidation, Legitimacy and Control

Abstract
Chapters 2, 3 and 4 have described the first stage in the life-cycle development of a dictatorship — establishing personal, military or one-party rule. This chapter moves on to the second, consolidating stage in a dictatorship’s development and describes the key aspects of consolidation: seeking legitimacy and strengthening control. The consolidation stage is most prominent in the ideological one-party states that were produced by the second phase in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ modernization of dictatorship. This second-phase format involves ideological claims to legitimacy and pronounced control mechanisms, whichever type of dictatorship — one-party, military or personal — is employing the format. However, the other two phases in the modernization of dictatorship, as was described in the Introduction, produced less elaborate formats and have less prominent consolidations. The first-phase military dictatorships lack any elaborate claims to legitimacy, but may have such pronounced control mechanisms as martial law or a military junta. Consolidation is even less prominent in the case of third-phase, democratically disguised dictatorships, such as the modern populist presidential monarchies described in Chapter 2. Their democratic disguise not only requires them to avoid ideology and rely on electoral claims to legitimacy, but also prevents them adopting such pronounced control mechanisms as a military junta or a party politburo.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 6. Non-Democratic Governance

Abstract
The third stage in the development of a dictatorship is the governance stage, in which the ruling organization or person uses the public offices/powers seized or misappropriated in the first stage and whose ‘taking’ was consolidated in the second stage. This chapter and Chapter 7 will describe the governance stage largely in terms of its policy-making and state-building aspects. The first section of this chapter identifies dictatorships’ distinctive policies, and then the focus shifts to policy-making institutions and processes. First, a section examines policy-making institutions in general and then two sections look at party and military institutions, such as describing how the politburo and junta perform a policy-making role as well as the control-mechanism role described in the previous chapter. In addition, there is a section that describes the personal dictatorships’ personalist policy-making processes and their personal styles of government. Finally, the chapter offers an assessment of the dictatorships’ policy performance based on their economic performance and how successful they were in carrying out their distinctive policies. Chapter 7 will continue this description of the governance stage by examining policy implementation and then several aspects of state-building, including those related to a dictatorship’s demise — the final stage of its life-cycle development — where it loses the public offices/powers that it seized or misappropriated.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 7. Governance and State-Building

Abstract
The governance issues discussed in Chapter 6 were related to policy-making but in this chapter the focus shifts to policy-implementing institutions and performance and also to the process of state-building, which in fact is the central theme of the chapter. Even the initial section on policy-implementing problems is primarily concerned with the ‘weak state’ and increasingly with that key governance institution, the state bureaucracy, which is the crucial policy-implementing institution as well as having an important role in policy-making (see Chapter 6). The second and third sections are concerned solely with state-building or, more specifically, with building the state bureaucracy and its administrative capacity. They will describe the historical role and legacy of non-democratic regimes in this area of state-building, with the second section focused on the successes of monarchies and revolutionary dictatorships and the third section focusing on the failings of dictatorships in Latin America and in Africa. The fourth section examines the state-building failings and other state failures — in the monopolization of violence rather than bureaucratization of administration — that have led to the destruction of dictatorships by external or internal forces. The various forms of state failure have been one of non-democratic regimes’ two main avenues of destruction, along with the democratizing transitions from dictatorship that will be described in Chapter 8.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 8. Democratization and Rationalization

Abstract
Non-democratic regimes are ended or changed in a variety of ways, most of which have been described, directly or indirectly, in earlier chapters. Parliamentary expropriation of monarchs was described in Chapter 2, military coups against monarchies and dictatorships in Chapter 3, party-led revolutions against dictatorships in Chapter 4, a military or party leader’s misappropriation of power in Chapter 2, and the role of state failings and disintegration in Chapter 7. But the most important way in which non-democratic regimes are changed or destroyed is through democratization.
Paul Brooker

Chapter 9. A New Phase and Format: Disguised Dictatorship

Abstract
This final chapter describes what may well be the final chapter in the historical evolution of non-democratic regimes: the third-phase modernization and its new format of democratically disguised dictatorship. It is a format that has been adopted by all three types of dictatorship -military, party and personal — but, particularly, by the party dictatorship and by the populist presidential monarchy’s form of personal dictatorship. The first section of the chapter focuses on the key element of the third-phase format, that is, the semicompetitive elections that disguise the dictatorship as a democracy. The second section charts the historical evolution of the semicompetitive-elections disguise, with descriptions of the Mexican military regimes, Peron’s Argentina and the ambiguous cases of Singapore and Malaysia, which may be authoritarian hybrids rather than democratically disguised one-party rule. These several examples illustrate not only the pioneering origins of the new format, but also how it has been employed by different types of regime: military rule, populist presidential monarchy and one-party rule. The third section describes how a further development of semicompetitive elections, namely the use of puppet parties to provide phoney competition, has created the ‘pure type’ of third-phase format, which is likely to be dictatorship’s characteristic twenty-first-century format. However, the second section also includes a description of the ‘monarchical problem’ that endangers the democratic disguise of a surprising number of third-phase dictatorships.
Paul Brooker

Conclusion

Abstract
A final summing up provides an opportunity to highlight themes that have been evident throughout the preceding chapters but have not been the focus of any particular discussion or analysis. One such theme is the diversity shown by non-democratic regimes on their evolutionary path from monarchies to third-phase modernized dictatorships. During these two centuries of evolution through three phases of modernization they produced diverse types of regime: military rule, one-party rule, and various forms of personal rule, such as by military or party leaders who had misappropriated power or by populist presidential monarchs who had misappropriated power from the people. The diversity is also apparent in many of the regimes’ characteristics and features: their ideologies, control mechanisms, policies, performance, policy implementation, state capacity and even their wide variety of non-competitive and semicompetitive elections. In some areas the differences are so marked that some cases, such as the rare cases of high state capacity or economic performance, seem more comparable to democracies than to many of their fellow non-democratic regimes.
Paul Brooker
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