Universität Mannheim / Sowi / Polecon / Lehre / FSS 2018 / Proseminar Origins and Economic Consequences of Authoritarianism

PS Einführung in die Vergleichende Regierungslehre: Origins and Economic Consequences of Authoritarianism
durchgeführt von Jakob Willisch
Montags 13:45 - 15:15 Uhr in B6, 30-32 Bauteil E-F, Seminarraum 211
Startdatum: 12.02.2018; Enddatum: 28.05.2018

From a historical perspective, governments have been predominantly of authoritarian form. Even after the spread of democracy in the second half of the twentieth century, around 40% of governments hosting half of the human population still feature authoritarian characteristics today. Understanding the conceptual difference between authoritarianism and democracy, between different forms of authoritarian government, as well as their origins and consequences is thus of paramount importance to a comprehensive study of comparative politics.
This course introduces students to the politics of authoritarian rule from an economic perspective. The course addresses two central questions: First, which actors, incentives and institutions cause a stable authoritarian regime? And second, what are their consequences to the organization of economic activity? The course is structured in two parts which approach the questions and material thematically. We start by discussing the conceptual difference between authoritarian and democratic regimes and progress to a discussion of the fundamental dilemma of dictatorships. We then discuss how problems of information and collective action influence this dilemma and the corresponding role of institutions in authoritarian regimes. The first part concludes by covering two interrelated tensions that drive authoritarian rule: the conflict of redistribution and the natural resource curse. The second part covers implications of authoritarian rule for the organization of economic activity. We discuss how authoritarian rule affects drivers and barriers of economic development such as property rights, foreign direct investment, patronage and repression. We conclude the course by touching on the question under which economic conditions transition to democracy occurs.