Competitive authoritarianism from the Cold War to the modern era

Irina Milutinović ORCID logo

Published on 15 October 2023

ABSTRACT: The subject of this study is the genesis and development of a competitive authoritarian political system as a specific phenomenon that, in the modern age, became the most prominent form of political regime on a global scale. To understand the dynamics of this type of political regime in contemporary Europe (and beyond), from the end of the Cold War to today, we have systemized a review of relevant theoretical concepts and empirical knowledge. Descriptive and analytical research methods have been used (predominantly the analysis of theoretical literature), to achieve the main research objective, which is to complement domestic studies of democratic transition with a single core overview of the literature on this type of political regime, which, despite scientific and ideological projections, has extended and strengthened its duration in the modern era. In conclusion, the phenomenon of competitive authoritarianism is recognized as a(for now) stable “grey area of a hybrid regime” in which a considerable number of countries are stagnating, while the world order becomes increasingly tolerant of authoritarianism.

KEY WORDS: competitive authoritarianism, hybrid regime, democratic transition, autocratisation.