Authoritarian consolidation is conceptualised as a deliberate state project to improve a regime's capabilities for governing society. It is hypothesised that the durability of an authoritarian regime increases to the extent that regime elites manage to substitute coercion for governing by organisation, regulation and the management of discourses. This provides them with a broader – and less costly – range of options to address social problems and regime challenges than merely intimidating or cracking down on opponents.
Keywordsauthoritarian consolidation government effectiveness state infrastructural power political terror
For valuable comments and suggestions I am grateful to Björn Alpermann, André Bank, Axel Hadenius, Thomas Heberer, Geir Helgesen, Patrick Köllner, David Kühn, Daniel Lambach, Julia Leininger, Philippe Schmitter, Jan Teorell, Michael Wahman and the participants of the workshop ‘Authoritarian Consolidation’, Duisburg, 14–15 May 2009. Financial support by the Research Programme ‘Change of Contemporary Societies’ of the Department of Social Sciences, University of Duisburg-Essen, is gratefully acknowledged, as is the logistical help of Alexandra Kessler and Christian Sprenger.
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