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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

The Interaction Between ICT and Authoritarian Legitimation Strategies: An Empirical Inquiry

P. 184-194.

Legitimacy is a vital source of stability in authoritarian political systems, and non-democracies are developing various tools to sustain it. The Internet is said to be one such tool, offering a variety of legitimizing effects, but the main discussion in this paper is around the referent object and the type of legitimation. This study attempts to explore how the diffusion of online tools is associated with different legitimation strategies of authoritarian countries, as measured by the Varieties of Democracy project. The analysis suggests that IT – tools diffusion is strongly and positively correlated with the rational-legal and performance types of legitimation. While the data is subject to variation, the results support an earlier claim that the proliferation of online tools is legitimation-driven and is applied to specific forms of legitimacy. This initial analysis will be further developed by including legitimation strategies into the causal Internet diffusion models.