What is New in New Authoritarianism (WANEA)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars


We are living in quintessentially a different era than the 1960s when classic definitions of authoritarianism imbued by modernization theory appeared. The world of regime theory was clear cut: some countries, which practiced elections, the rule of law and had strong opposition, were democracies. If some criteria were missing and regimes used coercion, they were called authoritarian. However, the present era is characterized by the authoritarian leaders in democracies who use legal means and economic regulation to coerce population into particular lifestyles. The scholarship on authoritarianism reacted to these changes in two ways. The first group of authors continued to operate with solely political categories by adding adjectives to old terms. The second group of authors turned to political economy and explored different aspects of authoritarianism. However, these scholarships are not connected and do not ‘talk to each other’, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary dialogue to produce new vocabulary and move away from old definitions.

In this light, our research network WANEA aims to develop an integrated theoretical framework for the analysis of authoritarianism. The proposed two-day workshop in Lund brings together WANEA members, coming from a variety of disciplines in social sciences, to have a dialogue and develop a new conceptual framework for understanding authoritarianism beyond modernist and solely political definitions.
Period21 Mar 201922 Mar 2019
Event typeWorkshop
LocationLund, SwedenShow on map