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Research Network on

Autocracies and Global Governance

Current Members: 34

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About

While we know a lot about the effect of democracy in international relations, less is known about the role that autocracies and processes of autocratization play in global politics. However, a range of scholars from different sub-fields have started to work on different aspects of the topic over the last years. Studies address to what extent authoritarian regional institutions promote illiberal practices and stabilize and diffuse autocracy in their regions. They analyze the role of authoritarian states as global actors who aim to challenge, contest and reshape international norms and institutions. Further work has focused on the consequences of regime type and autocratization processes for the institutional design, decision-making, and legitimacy of international organizations. Others try to unpack to what extent authoritarian powers, especially China and Russia, provide alternative institutional fora for cooperation, and how competitive regime creation challenges established institutions. Particular attention is also given to the disrupting effect of authoritarian states for international peace and security in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The Research Network therefore aims to focus on autocracy in global governance to understand the causes and consequences of rising authoritarianism for the transformation of international politics. 

The aim of our Research Network is to connect scholars who work on this emerging academic agenda, and to provide a platform to exchange, solidify and advance research on the international dimension of authoritarianism. 

Through several activities, the Research Network aims to connect scholars, exchange knowledge and expertise, and initiate collaboration:

  • Organising a section on Autocracies and Global Governance at the ECPR General Conference 2025; 
  • Supporting regular workshops on specific topics of global consequences of autocracy. These can be workshops as part of the ECPR Joint Sessions, but also individual workshops outside of ECPR events. Examples of subtopics are the consequences for legitimacy of global governance, contested multilateralism, or autocracies and their role for international peace and security; 
  • Working towards joint publications and symposia, possibly as the outcome of an ECPR General Conference section or ECPR Joint Sessions workshop. Joint publications include Special Issues and Edited Volumes.