Examining state capacity in the context of electoral authoritarianism, regime formation and consolidation in Russia and Turkey

David White, Marc Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
436 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper compares the regimes of Turkey and Russia and how state
capacity has facilitated authoritarian regime building at the expense
of democratic consolidation. It begins by considering how best to
conceptualize the Putin and Erdoğan regimes. Whilst recognizing
significant differences between the two cases, we argue that the
concepts of electoral authoritarianism and neopatrimonialism are
particularly helpful in better understanding how both systems
operate. The paper then discusses the concept of state capacity,
arguing that for conceptual clarity a parsimonious understanding of
the concept based on the state’s extractive, administrative and coercive
capacities, provides the most useful framework for the comparative
analysis. The paper concludes that in Turkey the shift towards electoral
authoritarianism since 2010/11 has happened in a much shorter time
span, is more conflictual and characterized by more elite and social
contention than in Russia under Putin. The Putinist regime was more
capable of harnessing the infrastructural and coercive capacity of the
Russian state to institute a stable neopatrimonial authoritarian regime
that functions in a setting of electoral authoritarianism. In both cases,
authoritarian regime building came at the expense of or supplanted
efforts to improve and expand state capacity for effective democratic
governance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoutheast European and Black Sea Studies
Early online date17 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Turkey
  • Russia
  • electoral authoritarianism
  • neopatrimonialism
  • state capacity

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