What is it about?

I analyze the factors which contribute to this path dependence towards authoritarianism and show how we can avoid them in order to preserve our democracies.

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Why is it important?

There are some path-creating mechanisms which are rather under-estimated as they start very small. Many times the societies overcome them. However, they can mutually reinforce and reach a level where the risk of drifting into authoritarianism increases.


I use some existing concepts and models from different research areas and combine them to a new model. My intention is to offer a new perspective on the transition between democracy and authoritarianism. A perspective which pays attention to small but persistent mechanisms influencing a society’s path.

Björn Toelstede
Linkopings universitet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How path-creating mechanisms and structural lock-ins make societies drift from democracy to authoritarianism, Rationality and Society, April 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1043463119840040.
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