Jill Crystal, Authoritarianism and its adversaries in the Arab world”, World Politics 46 (1994), pp. 262-289.

_Summary: _ There is much to learn from the Arab world in terms of authoritarianism. The authors reviewed demonstrate the applicability of theories of democratization from other regions to the Arab world, as well as where it breaks down, suggesting new avenues for research on authoritarianism more broadly.

 

Four central themes:

* 1) “Economic” – Relationship b/w economic change and patterns of state control – they suggest that economic changes commonly associated with the emergence of democratic trends may, in states with a colonial history, actually prompt the emergence of authoritarian regimes

* 2) “Social-Structural” – Relationship b/w social-structural diversity and level of state control – importance of social actors and groups and the role of state efforts to contain them

* 3) “Institutional” – The importance of institutions of repression in sustaining state violence

* 4) “Ideological” – The role of ideological appeals in sustaining authoritarianism

 

Organizes author’s ideas around three sets of forces: those that precipitate authoritarianism, those that sustain it, and those that resist it.

 

==Origins of Authoritarianism==

=== Points of Departure ===

* Violence is historically overlooked in the literature

* Authors agree that political violence is central to the longevity of these regimes – their explanations for this violence and fear is what varies

=== Economics ===

* Gulf authoritarianism belongs to a family produced by colonialism – dependency theory perspective

* Reverses the claims of Rostow and Huntington – economic growth here LEADS to violence

* Oil wealth -> no taxation -> no representation

=== Social Structure===

* Authoritarianism is in part the result of both the kind of (state-led) economic development that occurred in the postwar era and of the resilience of old classes, the adaptability of the new, and their consequent ability to thwart state policy.

* Authoritarianism is not the result of successful efforts at economic development, but of partially successful (there must be a state development authority worth bleeding) but ultimately unsuccessful efforts.

* The persistence of ascriptive categories does not account for authoritarianism

* Neither the absence of modern social structures nor the presence of traditional ones accounts for authoritarian outcomes – rather, the answer is located partly in the form of economic development: these authors agree that state-led development prompts inevitable failure

 

==The Persistence of Authoritarianism==

=== Ideas ===

* Even the most fearful regimes do not rely solely on force – fear->compliance->complicity

* Two different kinds of ideas sustain authoritarianism:

** Developmentalism (belief that the state must play the central role in promoting economic growth, and to that end, individuals and social organizations must relinquish power to it)

** Neotraditionalism (rulers invoke tradition selectively to serve political needs)

* Both ideas aim at legitimation and demobilization

 

=== Institutions ===

* Institutions of force seem to be self-sustaining

 

==Alternatives to Authoritarianism ==

===Human Rights Groups ===

* Human rights movement offers a clear, alternative set of ideas about authority

 

=== Islamist Groups ===

* Clear alternative to the regime

 

_Method: _ Book reviews and synthesis