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How path-creating mechanisms and structural lock-ins make societies drift from democracy to authoritarianism
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2019 (English)In: Rationality and Society, ISSN 1043-4631, E-ISSN 1461-7358, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 233-262Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The question of how societies move between democracy and authoritarianism is of vital interest in science, as well as in the day-to-day political debate. This article contributes to this debate by exploring which mechanisms potentially encourage societies to move from democracy to authoritarianism. This article is based on the idea of traditional path dependence, tracing back to Arthur and the organizational path dependence theory by Sydow et al. Building on these theories, I examine how the so-called path-creating mechanisms can emerge and influence societies to move from democracy to authoritarianism. I develop two new concepts in this article. First, structural lock-in that describes a society deprived of its capabilities to adapt to the continuously changing environment. Second, efficient statism, describing societies which strive for higher socio-economic efficiency by embracing strong governmental forms and high conformity levels. The empirical cases presented in this article show that the path-creating mechanisms and efficient statism are regularly observable in societies. Such mechanisms put democracy at risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD , 2019. Vol. 31, no 2, p. 233-262
Keywords [en]
Authoritarianism; conformity; democracy; path dependence; stereotypes
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158349DOI: 10.1177/1043463119840040ISI: 000469374000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158349DiVA, id: diva2:1333846
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-07-02

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Toelstede, Bjorn
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