Defending democracy: resistance strategies against autocratization attempts

Changes in political regimes towards autocracy are at the forefront of the news today. With an alarming increase in autocratic tendencies across the world, the scientific debate in the field of political regime studies had recently put on its agenda an analysis of the opposite process to democratization, known as autocratization.

However, this new literature has largely ignored a central player, consisting in those who resist this process, whether they are institutional, political, or social entities. In other words, the ‘opponents’ of autocratization. There is someone at the helm of the autocratization process, but often there are also one or several players who oppose the process: those who react, who resist.

Very little is known about them—their identity, roles, or strategies to confront and, often, fight against these autocratization processes. This is why, at this stage in the literature’s development, we need an in-depth analysis of contemporary resistance to autocratization.

The research project will therefore answer the following question: how does resistance to autocratization occur, and under what conditions are the resistance strategies adopted by institutional, political, social, and international players feasible and effective in countering a ruling elite that is attempting to steer the political regime in a more authoritarian direction? Using a qualitative and comparative approach applied to multiple case studies, the research project will have relevant political implications for national and international players and institutions who wish to understand how to stop and reverse autocratization.

Coordination: Luca Tomini, Centre d'Etude de la Vie Politique – CEVIPOL, Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences sociales


Created on September 4, 2020