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The Arab Spring: Pathways of repression and reform

The Arab Spring: Pathways of repression and reform

Detailed Information
Jason Brownlee, Tarek Masoud, et al.
University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

This book is premised on the notion that subnational undemocratic regimes (SURs) within countries not only differ among each other but that they maintain different relations with the federal government, which is why they are reproduced differently. The book argues that alternative pathways of SUR continuity result first and foremost from the capacity (or lack thereof) of democratic presidents to wield power over SURs and autocrats. If presidents have the (fiscal or partisan) resources to induce cooperation from subnational autocrats and can thus secure credible and routine political support, the former have strong incentives to invest in the continuity and stability of undemocratic provincial regimes and autocrats. Under these circumstances, SUR reproduction from above takes place. Conversely, if presidents fail to exert effective power and are prevented from disciplining subnational autocrats via fiscal or partisan means, they will implement policies to oppose and weaken SURs. This does not necessarily lead to SUR breakdown. Local variables, such as subnational autocrats’ capacity to ensure party elite unity and/or mass political support, shape autocrats’ ability to counterbalance presidential attempts at destabilization, and also allow autocrats to keep their regimes alive. Where this occurs, SUR self-reproduction takes place. This explanation of SUR continuity is tested in contemporary Argentina and Mexico using a multi-method approach. Both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as cross-national and within-country comparisons, are employed to test pathways of SUR continuity in two of Latin America’s largest countries.

Date of Publication
Recommended citation
Brownlee, Jason, Tarek E. Masoud, and Andrew Reynolds. The Arab Spring: Pathways of repression and reform. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
Cited in...
Cleveland, William L. A history of the modern Middle East. Routledge, 2018., Masoud, Tarek. "Has the door closed on Arab democracy?." Journal of Democracy 26, no. 1 (2015): 74-87.

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