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Autocratic opening to democracy: why legitimacy matters

By Peter J. Burnell


As recent experiments in democratisation around the world show signs of achieving success, or failure, or more usually something in between, the attention of democracy promotion actors in the international community is turning to the world's remaining outstanding autocracies. This article identifies the autocracies, discusses the notion of autocratic opening, and explores how opening can come about, with particular reference to international intervention. The article argues that, for identifying the prospects for autocratic opening and determining the forms of constructive engagement available to international actors, it is useful to distinguish between the different grounds on which various autocracies claim legitimacy, and the specific vulnerabilities to which their principal legitimating base gives rise

Topics: JC
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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