21 February 2022

Understanding Authoritarianism

Deepening Autocratization, Dynamic Dictatorships, and China

With Elina Sinkkonen. Host: Satoko Naito

Authoritarian regimes have often been discussed in contrast to democratic governments and defined in terms of what they lack--namely, democratic features. Dr. Elina Sinkkonen highlights the need for a new method of conceptualizing authoritarian regimes on their own terms, by including variables like personalization, centralization, and state control over economic assets. Focusing on these factors allows for better quantification and understanding of how governments and regimes change. Dr. Sinkkonen discusses the example of Xi Jinping's China and explains the degrees to which technological innovations and the COVID pandemic have affected the CCP leadership.

Elina Sinkkonen is a senior research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and a specialist in authoritarian governance.

Satoko Naito is a docent at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.

Read Dr. Sinkkonen's article "Dynamic dictators: improving the research agenda on autocratization and authoritarian resilience" in Democratization, mentioned in the episode (open access) here.