In July 2018, the Taiwan Journal of Democracy (TJD) published a special issue addressing the international dimensions of the rise of populism, illiberalism in the democratic world and a new type of authoritarian regime. The issue is based on a German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) project, was organized by Laurence Whitehead and result from a Nuffield College, University of Oxford workshop. Seven articles explore new regime types and how to apply these in order to analyze patterns of international politics. Bert Hoffmann, Adele del Sordi, and Laurence Whitehead from the IDCAR-Network feature in the special issue with four different contributions.
The first article by Laurence Whitehead, analyzes alliance options available to authoritarian regimes from three approaches: internal rational choice, IR realism, and a constructivist approach. In “Understanding the ‘Gravity’ of Authoritarianism: China, Russia, and Authoritarian Cooperation”, John Ishiyama asks why some developing countries cooperate with other authoritarian regime, while others do not. In the third article by Michael Bratton and Peter Penar, the authors analyze why neighboring countries often have looked the other way on electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. The authors argue that the erosion of democracy in Zimbabwe is tolerated because political leaders in South Africa prioritize ruling-group survival.
Sean L. Yom reasserts regime identities to help explain why countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) resist regionalism, even though bandwagoning with the GCC majority would ensure state survival. His article is followed by Adele del Sordi and Emanuela Dalmasso, who turns to the question of how international activities of authoritarian regimes are used to improve legitimacy domestically.
The sixth article by Bert Hoffmann argues that international collaboration is not necessarily determined by regime-similarity. Rather, a broader concept of political like-mindedness can stem from constructivist policies and identities in the Global South. Lastly, Laurence Whitehead and Desmond King uses a comparative American Political Development (APD) approach to analyze how U.S. alliance strategies have been determined by an unstable mix of national beliefs and values intertwined with rival domestic interests and political ambitions.
The Taiwan Journal of Democracy issue also features a stand-alone book review essay that analyzes seven books on internal and external challenges to contemporary liberal democracies.
To access the Taiwan Journal of Democracy Vol. 14, No. 1, please click here.