This course offers an introduction to the fundamental logic of authoritarian politics. The main goal of the course is to develop a deeper understanding of how autocracies work internally and how they interact with the international arena. Taking a rational perspective, we analyse the key actors, strategies and effects of authoritarian rule from the 20th century to the present day. Based on cutting-edge research, the course engages with questions such as: How do authoritarian regimes arise? Why do some dictatorships survive for decades, while others do not? How do dictators deal with the dual threat of revolution and coup? When do regimes use repression and why would they refrain from it? How do dictators censor and what is the effect? How do dictators manipulate public opinion abroad? And how can the liberal state community counteract democratic backsliding tendencies, restrictions on civil liberties, as well as human rights violations? By the end of the course, participants should be able to critically assess scientific studies in the field of authoritarian politics and contribute new insights themselves.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.