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Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes (1st edn)

Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Natasha Lindstaedt, and Erica Frantz
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 22912. International Drivers of Democracylocked

p. 22912. International Drivers of Democracylocked

  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Andrea Kendall-TaylorDirector of the Transatlantic Security Program, Center for a New American Security
  • Natasha LindstaedtNatasha LindstaedtProfessor of Government, University of Essex
  •  and Erica FrantzErica FrantzAssistant Professor, Michigan State University


This chapter explores the international forces that shape democratic development. International dynamics influence the balance of power among domestic actors, which can shape a country's prospects for the onset and deepening of democracy. In fact, a large and growing body of research underscores that factors taking place outside a country's borders have played a significant and under-examined role in regime change and democratic development. These external factors include diffusion, foreign intervention, linkages (like trade and cross-cultural contacts), and foreign aid. One of the key takeaways of is that geopolitics matter. When the international system is led by a single democratic power, the democratic super-power and its partners can use trade, aid, and other linkages to encourage the onset and consolidation of democracy. Once competing authoritarian regimes emerge, however, these dictatorships can use the same tools in ways that dilute democratic leverage.

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