Authoritarian Landscapes

Popular Mobilization and the Institutional Sources of Resilience in Nondemocracies

  • Steve Hess

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Steve Hess
    Pages 1-19
  3. Steve Hess
    Pages 21-40
  4. Steve Hess
    Pages 41-52
  5. Steve Hess
    Pages 53-78
  6. Steve Hess
    Pages 79-108
  7. Steve Hess
    Pages 109-119
  8. Steve Hess
    Pages 121-155
  9. Steve Hess
    Pages 157-198
  10. Steve Hess
    Pages 199-218
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 219-244

About this book


The turbulent year of 2011 has brought the appearance of mass popular unrest and the collapse of long lived autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and possibly Syria. The sudden and unanticipated fall of these regimes – often thought of as exemplars of authoritarian resilience - has brought much of the conventional wisdom on the durability and vulnerability of nondemocratic regimes into question. This book seeks to advance the existing literature by treating the autocratic state not as a unitary actor characterized by strength or weakness but rather as a structure or terrain that can alternatively inhibit or facilitate the appearance of national level forms of protests. In the mode of the Arab Spring, the color revolutions of the former Soviet Union, and the people power movement of the Philippines, such movements overcome the daunting impediments presented by autocrats, appeal to likeminded counterparts across society, and overwhelm the ability of regimes to maintain order. Conversely, in other settings, such as contemporary China, decentralized state structures provide an inhospitable environment for national-level protest, leading collective actors to opt for more local and parochial forms of contention. This outcome produces paradoxical situations, such as in the PRC, where protests are frequent but national-level mobilization and coordination is absent.


Egypt Libya Tunisia authoritarian resilience non-violent protest protest

Authors and affiliations

  • Steve Hess
    • 1
  1. 1., 221 Carlson HallUniversity of BridgeportBridgeportUSA

Bibliographic information