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Central Asian Echoes in Non-Democratic Politics

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Given the advance of illiberal policies from Manila to Moscow over the past few years — to say little of the autocratic entrenchment in Astana, Ashgabat, Tashkent, and Dushanbe — the release of Xavier Marquez’s Non-Democratic Politics could not have come at a better time. Offering an overview of the means and methods of juntas, autocracies, monarchies, and totalitarian regimes, Marquez’s read brings a broad, if academic, introduction to those scratching their heads at just how easily Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev, Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon have hardened their grip on domestic political control and how leaders like Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and Indonesia’s Suharto have provided models current non-democracies hope to follow.

Running through the three “basic kinds of social control” purveyed by these regimes (competitive authoritarian, authoritarian, and totalitarian), Marquez puts together a theoretical tour de force on how non-democracies have molded support among constituents —........

© The Diplomat