The Arab Uprisings as Crises of Legitimacy. Success and Failure of Strategies of Political Rule in Jordan and Algeria

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2016
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Politikwissenschaft
Advisor: Schlumberger, Oliver (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2014-12-05
DDC Classifikation: 300 - Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
320 - Political science
Keywords: Politik , Protest , Protestbewegung , Herrschaft , Legitimität , Unterdrückung , Strategie , Arabische Staaten , Jordanien , Algerien , Autoritarismus , Bürger , Monarchie , Republik , Autokratie , Diktatur , Herrschaftssystem , Politisches System , Aufstand , Unruhen , Reform , Allokation , Identität , Nationalismus , Personalismus , Tradition , Gesetz , Diskurs , Staatstätigkeit
Other Keywords: Legitimation
Arabischer Frühling
Arab uprisings
Arab spring
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This thesis studies the Arab uprisings as crises of legitimacy that triggered different strategies of political rule in two authoritarian regimes that survived the mass protests of 2011, Jordan and Algeria. From a theoretical perspective, the thesis discusses whether autocratic legitimacy can exist in the first place. Adopting an empirical-analytical approach, a typology of autocratic legitimation strategies situated on a medium level of abstraction is distilled from both classical works and more recent area-specific works. As authoritarian regimes do not only use legitimation, but also repression in order to maintain stability, a subtypology of repression enables a holistic look at strategies of political rule especially in times of crisis. A decisive dimension of analysis for both sets of strategies is the respective addressee, as the addressees’ response towards these strategies is central for empirically assessing the latters’ success or failure. As a further dimension, this study takes different modes of the employed strategies into account. Along the principles of a most dissimilar systems design, two case studies demonstrate how regimes survived despite recurrent protests. In the empirical chapters, a thick description of the central demonstrations of the Jordanian and Algerian uprisings respectively serves to shed light on the interaction between protesters and governments. Using the qualitative method of process tracing, the bulk of the empirical analysis is devoted to presenting the strategies of political rule that were employed in Jordan and Algeria from early 2011 until the respective following legislative elections. After the analysis of legitimation within the different modes along the typology presented above, the addressees’ responses as well as two subtypes of repression are analyzed. The thesis shows striking similarities in the crisis management of both cases, where rulers used the full repertoire of strategies for upgrading authoritarianism with a twist towards more repression as time went by. The crises posed by the Arab uprisings offered the perfect occasion for reintroducing deliberalization and harsher forms of repression, rather than responsiveness to the population’s demands. Through a focus on the addressees of single measures and an assessment of their acceptance or rejection of these strategies, this study shows that Jordan and Algeria survived the Arab uprisings without solving their crises of legitimacy in a sustainable way that would allow for long-term stability.

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