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Authoritarian Regionalism in the Modern World Politics

June 22-23 (11.00 am - 2.00 pm)

This course is about autocracies and their strategies to engage with neighbouring states and form international organizations. International organizations founded by autocracies such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and China and mostly include non-democratic members. Examples of these organizations are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the most recent example: the Eurasian Economic Union, created in 2015. The influence of this “authoritarian regionalism” has radically increased in terms of both geographic scope and intensity in the first decades of 21st century, creating an unprecedented challenge to democracies and democratization worldwide, as well as to policy-makers. This course will address the impact, importance, and consequences of these international organizations led and sponsored by autocracies at global level and in Eurasia (looking into implications for the EU’s External Neighborhood Policy). Analysis of authoritarian regionalism worldwide, including their implications for global politics, is relevant from both scientific and policy perspectives. How do these newly emerged organizations interrelate and interact with the outside world? How do they counteract and confront the danger of democratization in their own member states and neighboring states? How and why do the political regimes, the economic development and the cultures of their member states matter in the foundation and development of these international organizations? This course aims to address these questions through travelling to “zones” of authoritarian regionalism in Arab regions (e.g., the Gulf Cooperation Council), in Latin American (e.g., the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), post-Communist Eurasia (e.g., the Eurasian Economic Union), and China (e.g., the Shanghai Cooperation Council). Special attention will be paid to the EU’s Neighborhood and Eurasia.

⬇️  Reading List available soon