What Autocratization Is

  • Andrea CassaniEmail author
  • Luca Tomini
Part of the Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century book series (CDC)


What is autocratization and how many forms can it take? In this chapter, the authors elaborate a conceptual framework for the analysis of post-Cold War processes of autocratization. They define autocratization as a process of regime change towards autocracy that makes the exercise of political power more arbitrary and repressive and that restricts the space for public contestation and political participation in the process of government selection. The authors identify six possible forms of autocratization, corresponding to as many regime transitions that share a direction towards autocracy but differ in the points of departure and arrival. To account for the differences between the forms that a process of autocratization can take, a typology is sketched. The chapter concludes by dealing with a few ambiguous political transformations that should not be considered as evidence of autocratization.


Autocratization Conceptualization Typology Regime transitions 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Political SciencesUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Political SciencesUniversité Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BrusselsBelgium

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