The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part 4: Comparative Politics; Part 5: Public Policies and Administration; Part 6: International Relations; and Part 7: Major Challenges for Politics and Political Science in the 21st Century.

Chapter 42: Authoritarianisms and Authoritarianization

Authoritarianisms and Authoritarianization

Authoritarianisms and authoritarianization
Oliver Schlumberger Tasha Schedler

A Short History

Authoritarianism is today mostly viewed as contrary to democracy. Ever since humans settled and formed communities larger than the groups of a nomadic hunter-and-gatherer society, people have predominantly lived under ‘dictatorship’ – even though the term emerged much later than language. No matter where we look at historical forms of human association, patterns of authority have tended to be strictly hierarchical, and political participation, or active part-taking in political decision-making, has for the most part been restricted to a very narrow stratum of political elites, a small group, or even individual leaders: Egypt's pharaohs, Chinese and East African emperors, Maya and Inca kings, ancient Sahel ...

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