GS06 Authoritarianism, Democracies and Regime Changes

Session Code
Session Chairs
Prof. António Costa Pinto
Prof. Pedro Tavares de Almeida

The scholarly debate on regime change has shifted significantly in recent years. While the post-1974 paradigm emphasized the global spread of liberal democracy, the new millennium is seemingly characterized by a democratic retrenchment, if not reversal. The contemporary discussion is now marked by notions of democratic decline and deconsolidation, with a rising tide of autocratization. Yet, this debate does not capture the full picture: while there appears to be democratic retrenchment in some regions, efforts remain towards democratic transition and consolidation in other parts of the world. Equally, it raises questions regarding the relationship between the rise of illiberal values and practices and the deterioration of democracy.

This section welcomes proposals that advance our understanding of authoritarianism, democracy and regime change in an open world. The nature of these topics means that submissions can come from a variety of perspectives, including those of a more theoretical nature; small n case-studies or comparative studies; or large n quantitative studies. Likewise, the section recognizes that historical cases and patterns provide relevant insights into our contemporary concerns. Finally, and in keeping with the theme of the World Congress, we also invite reflections into how new nationalisms interplay with these topics. Overall, then, the section is open to diverse theoretical and methodological approaches that can contribute to our comprehension of authoritarianism, democracy and regime change in a context of new nationalisms in an open world.