Authoritarian Vestiges in Democratic Regimes

Issue Date April 2021
Volume 32
Issue 2
Page Numbers 145–58
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Democratization almost never means a clean slate. Most new democracies are littered with vestiges of the old regime. This article examines three such authoritarian vestiges: authoritarian successor parties, authoritarian-era constitutions, and subnational authoritarian enclaves. All three are extremely common. They are not, however, equally harmful. While there is no silver lining to subnational authoritarianism, the effects of the other two are less clear-cut. Authoritarian successor parties, in particular, can have surprising benefits by helping to create a viable opposition and incorporating democratic “spoilers.”

About the Author

James Loxton is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His most recent book is Authoritarianism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

View all work by James Loxton