Democratic and autocratic disruptions

CĂ©line Thiriot (Sciences Po Bordeaux)
Augustin Loada (Université Ouaga 2)
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Short abstract:

How to explain sudden regime change in long lasting and established regimes, either in consolidated democracy or new look authoritarianism, in post-transition era? We aim to (re)assess the role and place of diverse factors and arguments in surprising regime breakdown.

Long abstract:

Last years, some long-lasting and established regimes, being considered either as a consolidated democracy or as a new look authoritarianism have collapsed in an unforeseen way. For example, the popular uprising in Burkina Faso (2014) or the outburst of the conflict leading to a coup in Mali (2012) resulted in the overthrow of both incumbents, in unpredicted configurations. Were those events, unpredictable though? Where did the surprise come from? The transitology perspective of the 1990's third wave, has long lived and is under critics. In this current "post transitologist" analytical period what are the perspectives left or opened to explain the specific regime (in) stability? Is there any replacing theory for regime change? The aim of this panel is to (re) assess the explanatory variables and factors of disruption in the political order and propose alternative analyses of surprising regime breakdown. Three axes can be developed: - Promoting a dynamic perspective. What defines the moment for change? Is there a generational effect? Is there a timeline?; how to historicize the dynamics of change? - Characterizing "a system for change". What is the relative importance of actors and institutions in the specific configuration of regime change? - Locating the analytical tools and perspectives that are proposed. From an epistemological perspective, how to label the current analysis of regime change? What do they have -or don't have- in common? We propose to investigate various regimes breakdowns in Africa since 20 years, in a comparative perspective.