The Political Economy of Autocratization: The Case of Belarus, 1994–2006

Trantidis, Aris (2021) The Political Economy of Autocratization: The Case of Belarus, 1994–2006. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 54 (4). pp. 117-136. ISSN 0967-067X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1525/j.postcomstud.2021.54.4.11...

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The Political Economy of Autocratization: The Case of Belarus, 1994–2006
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Abstract

In competitive authoritarian systems, aspiring autocrats must win elections and marginalize the political opposition. In Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko’s strategy for political hegemony heavily relied on socioeconomic co-optation, offering privileges to supporters and imposing sanctions on dissenters. In an economy dominated by the state, co-optation had a coercive effect on behavior. Without sizable areas of activity autonomous from the government, citizens could not defy or mitigate the cost of reprisals to openly support the political opposition. Through co-optation, Lukashenko weakened the opposition and built an authoritarian regime without resorting to extensive political violence, which could have undermined his claim of public legitimacy.

Keywords:Competitive authoritarianism, Belarus, post-communist transition, Democratic theory
Subjects:L Social studies > L222 Democracy
L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L221 Autocracy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:46477
Deposited On:15 Sep 2021 13:34

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