Financial liberalization and authoritarian survival in the muslim world (FLAS)
While the waves of democratization instigated regime change across much of the Global South, countries with predominantly Muslim populations live either under authoritarian governments or very fragile democracies. Explanations that unpack the durability of authoritarian survival in much of the Muslim world highlight oil rents, heavy investment in the security apparatus and international support as significant factors that sustain these repressive governments. However, existing studies that document these mechanisms predominantly focus on the autocrat’s fiscal toolkit while non-fiscal policies (such as monetary policy and financial reforms) get very little attention. Does financial liberalization create new opportunities for political survival in authoritarian settings? How do non-democratic governments in predominantly Muslim areas implement liberal financial reforms while tightening their grip on power? To answer these questions, this project combines qualitative case studies with Large-N observational data analysis.