Authoritarian Landscapes: Popular Mobilization and the by Steve Hess

By Steve Hess

The turbulent 12 months of 2011 has introduced the looks of mass well known unrest and the cave in of lengthy lived autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and probably Syria. The surprising and unanticipated fall of those regimes – frequently considered exemplars of authoritarian resilience - has introduced a lot of the normal knowledge at the toughness and vulnerability of nondemocratic regimes into query. This ebook seeks to enhance the present literature through treating the autocratic country no longer as a unitary actor characterised by means of power or weak point yet really as a constitution or terrain which could on the other hand inhibit or facilitate the looks of nationwide point types of protests. within the mode of the Arab Spring, the colour revolutions of the previous Soviet Union, and the folk energy stream of the Philippines, such hobbies conquer the daunting impediments awarded by means of autocrats, attract likeminded opposite numbers throughout society, and weigh down the power of regimes to take care of order. Conversely, in different settings, corresponding to modern China, decentralized country constructions supply an inhospitable atmosphere for national-level protest, major collective actors to choose extra neighborhood and parochial varieties of rivalry. This end result produces paradoxical events, akin to within the PRC, the place protests are widespread yet national-level mobilization and coordination is absent.

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Additional info for Authoritarian Landscapes: Popular Mobilization and the Institutional Sources of Resilience in Nondemocracies

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In the view of these authors, decentralization is related to third wave decentralization but there is no straightforward causal linkage between the two processes. As noted by Gibson (2004, 9–12) and Ochoa-Reza (2004), post-democratization decentralization has taken place because electoral reforms initiated during periods of democratization resulted in the “activating [of] once-dormant federal institutions,” wherein previously quiescent subnational offices were empowered and began to demand the transfer of a growing share of central resources to the periphery (Ochoa-Reza 2004, 257).

Instead of taking the greater personal risks associated with constructing an organizational infrastructure that forges links across social sectors and communities, protest entrepreneurs can achieve repeated successes, influencing subnational authorities or local private actors by focusing on safer and more readily attainable limited goals. In a parallel of Madisonian predictions of the benefits of a federal republic, not only democracies but also authoritarian regimes may also prove more responsive to their constituents if they empower local governments to determine public policies within their own territorial jurisdictions.

They have been oriented around specific, material grievances, targeted at subnational layers of the state and have involved exclusive, limited frames of collective action. As a S. 1007/978-1-4614-6537-9_3, © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 41 42 3 Single-Party Regimes consequence, they have not been coordinated across regions or social groups and have been unable to maintain sustained interaction with the state. To demonstrate how real and perceived state centralization contributed to divergent modes of protest in Taiwan and China, the following chapter investigates two important protest issue areas that appeared in both cases and ultimately produced major and frequent acts of popular contention: environmental and labor protests.

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