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Regular version of the site

Article

Herr des Hügels Stabilität und Fragilität postsowjetischer Regime

Osteuropa. 2014. No. 8. P. 121-130.

Unlike democracies, autocracies can be stable only if they satisfy the population's material expectations. To that end, they need effective state institutions. This confronts an autocratic ruler with a dilemma: such institutions endanger the nontransparent  distribution of resources to the powerful elites, who support the regime. Therefore, autocracies are also extremely vulnerable to upheavals in the global economy. In crisis situations, they can respond by partially opening the regime to larger circles of elites. If they try to preserve the status quo, they risk stagnation and decay or an open dictatorship.