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Human Rights: Politics and Practice

Human Rights: Politics and Practice (3rd edn)

Michael Goodhart
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date: 28 September 2023

p. 23514. Political Democracy and State Repressionlocked

p. 23514. Political Democracy and State Repressionlocked

  • Christian Davenport


This chapter explores the relationship between political democracy and state repression. Afer providing an overview of the democracy–repression link, it considers what research has been conducted on the topic and also what has been ignored. It uses the United States and its treatment of African Americans as an example of how existing research in this field should change, as well as to emphasize the importance of disaggregation (regarding institutions, actors, and actions). The chapter concludes by suggesting directions for future research. It argues that researchers need to improve the way in which they think about the relationship between democracy and repression, and that they need to modify how they gather information about democracy and repression.

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