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March.13.patrimonial.authoritarianism - Patrimonial...

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Unformatted text preview: Patrimonial Authoritarianism March 13, 2008 The Logic of Patrimonial Authoritarianism Personalistic authority Weak political institutions Predates mass political mobilization Govern by co-opting elites, distributing patronage, selective repression of emerging opposition The Paradox of Patrimonial Authoritarian Rule Often remarkably durable longstanding personalistic regimes But also quite fragile vulnerable to coups and revolutionary overthrow -- Coups: overthrow by rival elites or elements of the state -- Revolution: overthrow by popular mobilization from below, usually accompanied by radical changes in the distribution of social and economic power So key challenges: keep elites dependent on ruler, masses passive and quiescent (i.e., avoid social mobilization) Political Strategies and Sources of Durability Elite level -- dispense favors, patronage to co-opt elite support -- manipulate dependence, uncertainty purges, spying, etc.; personal loyalty only path to promotion -- encourage factionalism, in-fighting among elites; "divide and rule" strategies -- don't provide institutional bases for rival elites to build political power -- cultivate suspicion of elites who appear overly ambitious or competent Mass level: -- paternalistic image of ruler as the benefactor of the poor; petitions, etc. -- vertical patron-clientelist relations as alternative to horizontal, class-based organization from below -- use poverty, lack of education to keep people weak -- development as alternative to reform but development can be a double-edged sword Achilles Heels: Sources of Fragility Succession dilemmas Social mobilization that accompanies economic development Weak institutions, so little state capacity to foster development, penetrate civil society, channel social mobilization into institutionalized forms of political participation Elite dissent at limited opportunities, possibility of multiclass opposition alliances Social backlash against corruption Downfall of the Emperor 1960: military rebellion by palace guards 1966: peasant rebellion and growing student unrest 1972-74: famine and inflationary spiral triggered by oil crisis Feb. 1974: economic crisis triggers riots, followed by military rebellion and general strike Sept. 1974: Haile Selassie deposed and imprisoned by junior military officers; other regime officials executed; establishment of new Marxist government Overthrow Marxist government 1991, transition to hybrid regime with dominant party ...
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