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Department of Comparative Politics

AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES

- Authoritarian regimes pretend to be democratic

PhD student Svein-Erik Hansen Helle says to newspaper Trønder-Avisa that authoritarian regimes try to give the impression that decisions are made through thorough democratic processes.

- Many authoritarian regimes try to give the impression that decisions are made through thorough democratic processes, says PhD student Svein-Erik Hansen Helle.
- Many authoritarian regimes try to give the impression that decisions are made through thorough democratic processes, says PhD student Svein-Erik Hansen Helle.
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Democratic pretense

PhD student Svein-Erik Hansen Helle of the Department of Comparative Politics is interviewed about authoritarian regimes by newspaper Trønder-Avisa June 14th. In an article about the amount of meetings that often comes with being active in local politics, the newspaper asks if democratic and authoritarian regimes differ in this regard.

Hansen Helle notes that extensive processes often accompany decision-making in authoritarian regimes as well, but that these are only intended to create the semblance of popular participation.

 

Expert on non-democratic regimes

Hansen Helle writes his PhD dissertation on conditions of electoral competition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Among his areas of expertise are electoral processes in non-democratic regimes.

He stresses that there may be painstakingly long meetings in authoritarian regimes as well, but that the decisions in reality are made in advance, and that individuals are offered attractive perks to participate.

- Money, education and positions become more important in such regimes than in democratic ones, Hansen Helle says. He adds that participants who do not reach the decisions desired by the regime are typically fired.