Second IDCAR Network Conference in Austin, TX

On 2-3 October 2015, the second IDCAR network conference was held at The University of Texas at Austin. This milestone event brought together 17 network members for two days.

On 2-3 October 2015, the second network conference was held at The University of Texas at Austin. The conference was the second milestone event in the network, bringing 17 of the network members together for two days. The conference was entitled ‘Regional Clusters of Authoritarian Diffusion and Cooperation: Interest vs. Ideology’. The participants presented their papers and contributed to constructive debates on the role of ideology and interests in authoritarian diffusion and cooperation.

After a short welcome by the local conference host Kurt Weyland and the Network speaker André Bank, the conference started with an introductory paper presented by Kurt Weyland tackling theoretical and conceptual issues, which presented the overarching theme of the conference. In the light of this conceptual scope, the conference participants presented papers with theoretical and empirical foci on the topic. The following two sessions focused the role of regional powers in the authoritarian diffusion and cooperation in Latin America, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The first day of the conference was concluded with a keynote speech by Valerie Bunce (Cornell University) on ‘Autocrats, Democrats, and International Diffusion’.

On the second day, two sessions focused on the receiving side of autocratic diffusion. The papers provided empirical insights from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe on the interplay between internal and external dynamics in authoritarian diffusion. The third session examined the global-regional nexus in autocratic diffusion. The conference was concluded with a comparative overview presented by André Bank. The participants then discussed future activities of the network.