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Electoralism involves a government’s adoption of some electoral procedures, although this is done in order to avoid any full transition to liberal democracy. In this configuration, regular and even somewhat competitive elections are held. But they are constrained by prior limits on civil liberties and sundry manipulations of institutions. The political systems that emerge can be conceptualized in different ways. Depending on their degree of competitiveness, they have been variously understood as hybrid regimes, single-party dominant systems, semi-authoritarianism, and semi-, pseudo-, or even electoral democracy. But while the workings of these regimes may vary, they hold in common their practice of electoralism, obstructing any level playing field in a way that the incumbent government is reliably returned to power. This entry addresses questions of ...

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