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Working paper

Modern Authoritarianism and Political Ideology

Nisnevich Y. A., Ryabov A. V.
This article analyses the ideologies of authoritarian and neo-authoritarian regimes. The analysis is carried out in three clusters: “rudimentary” authoritarian regimes, post-colonial dictatorships, neo-authoritarian regimes. The first cluster is subdivided into two subgroups: authoritarian monarchies and “communist regimes”. The regimes in the third cluster are also subdivided into two subgroups: post-Soviet regimes and neo-authoritarian regimes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In an age of the decline of ideologies on a global scale, authoritarian and neo-authoritarian regimes, as before, need political ideologies to legitimise their power. However in the contemporary epoch which sets authoritarian and neo-authoritarian regimes new and much more complicated challenges, these regimes are forced to use more flexibility ideologies in order to adapt to the rapidly changing world. Ideologies of such regimes lose their former integrity and become “multi-layer”, eclectic. “Non-ideological” elements such as corruption have become a part of the ideologies of neo-authoritarian regimes. But herewith priority of the state as the highest value remains “the bearing structure” of the political ideologies of all authoritarian and neo-authoritarian regimes. Despite the official protection of human rights and liberties by neo-authoritarian regimes, this occupies a secondary and subordinate place in the ideological hierarchy and political practice of these regimes.