"> (Answered) Challenge of Semi-Authoritarianism By Martha Brill Olcott, Marina Ottaway Publisher: Carnegie Carnegie Paper No. 7, October 1999 The post-cold war... - Tutorials Prime

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(Answered) Challenge of Semi-Authoritarianism By Martha Brill Olcott, Marina Ottaway Publisher: Carnegie Carnegie Paper No. 7, October 1999 The post-cold war...

Challenge of Semi-Authoritarianism By Martha Brill Olcott, Marina Ottaway Publisher: Carnegie Carnegie Paper No. 7, October 1999 The post-cold war...

Based on the attached article, what do the authors mean by semi-authoritarian regimes? Identify one country that is currently in the news that fits the definition of a semi-authoritarian regime. Why do you identify this country as such?Challenge of Semi-Authoritarianism




Martha Brill Olcott




Marina Ottaway




Carnegie Carnegie Paper No. 7, October




The post-cold war world has seen the rise of an increasing number of regimes that cannot be


easily classified as either authoritarian or democratic, but display some characteristics of each—


in short, they are semi-authoritarian regimes. These regimes have adopted some of the formal


traits of democracy, such as constitutions providing for the separation of powers and contested


presidential and parliamentary elections, and they allow some degree of political freedom to their


citizens; nevertheless, they are able to protect themselves from open competition that might


threaten the tenure of the incumbents. Such regimes abound in the former Soviet Union: in


countries like Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan, for example, former communist bosses have


transformed themselves into elected presidents, but in reality they remain strongmen whose


power is barely checked by weak democratic institutions. Semi-authoritarian regimes are also


numerous in Sub-Saharan Africa, where most of the multi-party elections of the 1990s have


failed to produce working parliaments or other institutions capable of holding the executive


accountable. In the Middle East, tentative political openings in Algeria, Morocco and Yemen


appear to be leading to the consolidation of semi-authoritarian regimes rather than to democracy,


following a pattern first established by Egypt. In the Balkans, the communist regimes have


disappeared, but democracy remains a distant hope even in countries that are at peace. Even


more worrisome is the example of Latin America, where steady progress toward democracy has


been interrupted by the new semi-authoritarianism of Peru and Venezuela.


Several factors explain why a growing number of regimes are adopting outwardly more


democratic political systems: the loss of appeal of socialist systems during the 1990s, the


creation of newly independent states, and the corresponding need felt by an increasing number of


governments to legitimize themselves in the eyes of their citizens and of the international


community; the pressure by donor countries, which have launched democracy promotion


programs and in some cases even make economic aid contingent on the implementation of


democratic reforms; and the demonstration effect of democratization in the neighboring




A combination of external pressures and countervailing forces created by domestic opposition


has limited the capacity of most governments to impose their policies unilaterally and to continue


governing in an authoritarian fashion. But these pressures have not been sufficient to bring about


a new distribution of power in most countries. As a result, reforms have remained incomplete


and the new regimes have been able to prevent further change through their successful


manipulation of the new institutions and often of the opposition as well. The new semi-


authoritarian regimes continue to go through the motions of a democratic process, but they have


become masters at stifling electoral competition or at keeping parliaments powerless and


judiciary systems cowed. They have also learned to manipulate public opinion: on the one hand,


they claim that that they are committed to popular empowerment and the redistribution of power;


on the other, they emphasize that the risks of instability they claim are inherent in untrammeled


competition and by so doing succeed in deflecting criticisms and reducing internal pressure for




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Jan 02, 2020





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