Lecture #3-Competetive advantage of Authoritarian regimes vs.
• Revival of authoritarian regimes.
• Democracies and the challenges of democratic consolidation to have
• Strength of authoritarian regimes.
o What are the advantages theoretical and practical of democracy?
• Moral attractiveness of democratic ideas
• What are the practical advantages of authoritarian regimes
GOVERNANCE and governability and what regimes can deliver to citizens?
Are there hybrid regimes? Are they stable?
• One article argues that democracy is a byproduct of a global system
struggle and the United States somehow won this struggle. This led to
the spread of democratic ideals.
• Emergence of China has created a second alternative.
• Japan had great potential to become a democracy and there was great
pressure to have democratic reforms but was suppressed by the
o Had a natural indigenous foundation that later turned out to be
one of the rare transplantations of democratic institutions.
• From the postwar era, the efforts to assist in suppressing the rural
rebellion in Philippines and the Malaysian country, Vietnam , Korea,
which then led to the defeat of the US in Vietnam. (discomfort by US to
establish its own democracy in these countries)
• Critical role in the US in providing overarching security for Asia. The
irony is that the US lost the battle but ultimately won the war. (triumph
of markets in the Asian market and eliminated the struggle of the US)
• Rationalization of the embracement of dictators was underpinned by
writings of former US ambassador, Patrick, who developed the policy or
justification for embracing dictators.
o Best alternative to totalitarian dictators.
o As predatory and corrupt they are, at least they are susceptible
Bought and compelled to change.
• You support soft authoritarian regime because they are better than the
next authoritarian regime. (which is totalitarian) Ernie Tam
• All authoritarian regimes crumbled in the 1980s and 1990s. US
intervention and military dictatorships in Brazil, communicst Bloc in
o Triumph of democracy celebrated by Fukyama as the victory of
• Democracy had a win by default?
Authoritarian survival or revival?
• Development growth and political order:
• “The stigma of failure marks tyranny. Dictatorship has failed to deliver
on efficiency; especially soviet Union.” (address by prominent political
• Widespread belief of the fragility of dictatorship is the byproduct of an
earlier era when authoritarian regimes were seen as a SOLUTION.
Impact of Regimes vs. democracy
• In terms of growth, and different characteristics.
• Which regime type is better in ensuring human happiness and
• Dictatorship appeals to poorer people as an agent of modernity and
their appeals to loyalty; they were uniquely different in the sense that
they were the answer to bring prestige and prosperity.
o Communist Romania was very prosperous.
o Economic tigers of 1980s: Singapore, Taiwan
• Rapid economic growth by these authoritarian regimes brings doubt to
democracies. These regimes are able to lift the poor out of their
• Democracy was a luxury that could not be afforded because it would
obstruct the critical task of mobilizing resources for development. (This
Is the alternative belief when authoritarian regimes are in place)
• If you take all the dictatorships and democracies and you define them,
there is a remarkable intelligent way to discriminated between what
are real democracies and real dictatorships.
o Worst and best performing countries have been dictatorships
o It is impossible to particularly argue for the merits of
either democracy or dictatorships in terms of economic
• Advantage of democracy: gives citizens a sense of power, participatio