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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

14. Political Democracy and State Repression  

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.


Cover Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

6. The Durability of Autocracy  

This chapter identifies sources of authoritarian durability. To maintain a firm grip on power, authoritarian regimes must maintain some support among three primary constituencies: the elite, the opposition, and the broader public. After discussing the relationship of these groups to regime durability, the chapter outlines the two primary strategies that autocracies use to maintain control—repression and co-optation—and the benefits and risks of each. Repression is defined as a form of socio-political control used by authorities against those within their territorial jurisdiction to deter specific activities and beliefs perceived as threatening to political order. Dictatorships have also learned to use political institutions—namely elections, political parties, and legislatures—to co-opt their opponents. The chapter then highlights other factors that research has shown to enhance regime durability, including regime type, state capacity, a country's access to natural resource wealth, and whether the regime was born out of a revolutionary struggle.


Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

29. The End of Terrorist Campaigns  

Audrey Kurth Cronin

This chapter examines the end of terrorist campaigns. Thinking about how terrorism ends is the best way to use a group's weaknesses against it. Based on studies of hundreds of cases, it has been shown that terrorist campaigns end following six classic patterns. These are capturing or killing the leader, negotiations, achievement of the objective, failure, state repression, and reorientation to another type of violence. Without long-term thinking, counterterrorism gets caught in the action–reaction dynamic of terrorist campaigns. After all, reactive, tactical counterterrorism prolongs the struggle and extends terrorist campaigns, sweeping up outraged policymakers and public members. The chapter also references Al-Qaeda and ISIS as case studies.


Cover Human Rights

Political Democracy and State Repression  

Christian Davenport

This chapter looks at the correlation between political democracy and state repression. It notes how political democracy and economic development diminish human rights violations. Democracy mitigates repressions due to policymakers being aware of the repercussions of hurting citizens. Moreover, different aspects of democracy matter with regard to the influence on levels of repressions. The chapter then discusses the case studies on democracy and repression amidst the history of the Jim Crow laws and the Trump administration in the United States. It also considers possible future research into the democracy-repression nexus, which highlights the importance to look beyond state authorities when studying repression.


Cover International Relations Theories

8. Critical Theory  

Steven C. Roach

This chapter examines the various assumptions of critical theory espoused by the Frankfurt school, with particular emphasis on how the Frankfurt school’s critiques of authoritarianism and repression influenced the critical interventions by International Relations (IR) theorists. The chapter focuses on two major strands of critical International Relations theory: normative theory and the Marxist-based critique of the political economy. After providing an overview of the Frankfurt school and critical IR theory, the chapter explores critical theorists’ views on universal morality and political economy. It then discusses Jürgen Habermas’s ideas in international relations and presents a case study of the Arab Spring. It concludes by analysing the concept of critical reflexivity and how it can show knowledge and social reality are co-produced through social interaction, and how this interaction can, in turn, produce practical or empirical knowledge of the changing moral and legal dynamics of prominent global institutions.


Cover Democratization

2. Theories of Democratization  

Christian Welzel

This chapter examines the factors that have been proposed as determinants when, where, and why democratization happens. Several of these factors are synthesized into a broader framework that describes human empowerment as an evolutionary force channelling the intentions and strategies of actors towards democratic outcomes. The chapter first provides an overview of the nature and origin of democracy before discussing how democracy and democratization are affected by social divisions and distributional equality as well as modernization, international conflicts, regime alliances, elite pacts, mass mobilization, state repression, colonial legacies, religious traditions, and institutional configurations. The chapter concludes by presenting a typology of democratization processes, which includes responsive democratization, enlightened democratization, opportunistic democratization, and imposed democratization.