Learning Objectives

  • Some authoritarian regimes disperse power more widely than others. How can comparativists determine “who rules” and what, if anything, limits executive power in an authoritarian regime?
  • Authoritarian regimes come in several different subtypes: military, one-party, theocratic, personalist, and electoral authoritarian. In what ways do differences across these subtypes explain differences in leaders’ actions, levels of repression, and types of popular participation?
  • Why is clientelism so prevalent and important in authoritarian regimes? In what types of authoritarian regimes does it seem most important, and what might explain this?
  • Some authoritarian regimes allow at least some institutionalized limits on rulers’ power. What explains where and why this happens or doesn’t happen?