GS01 Democracy and Autocracy

Session Chairs
Prof. Svend-Erik Skaaning
Dr. Jesus Tovar

Democracy/Autocracy: A Reverse Wave? Debates among scholars and intellectuals about the condition and future of democracy have become gloomier over the recent decade. According to some observers, we have witnessed a standstill in the global level of democracy, while others identify declining levels of democracy and clear sign of a reverse wave of democratization. Many regimes remain in the hybrid zone between liberal democracy and outright autocracy. In general, the lesson has been it is easier said than done to establish stable, high-quality democracies. And even the old democracies are these days facing serious challenges with declining levels of trust in political institutions, satisfaction with democracy, electoral turnout, and membership in political parties. At the same time, autocrats are continuously refining their means of repression and legitimation. The session on autocracy and democracy calls for panels and papers that address the trends in and causes or consequences of political regimes changes. In particular, we welcome panels and papers that compare recent development with historical developments, that provide a disaggregate perspective on relationships, that investigate sequences in autocratization and democratization, or compare repression and legitimation strategies in autocracies.