Elisa Piras Alessandra Russo

Democratic diffusion failures or successful authoritarian protection? Central Asian undeclared policies vis-à-vis the 'Arab spring'

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Central Asian countries seem to be immune from the 'virus' of democratization. Without denying the importance of the factors that are considered to account for authoritarian resilience elsewhere, this article focuses on the ongoing process of establishment of an 'authoritarian cartel' at the regional level, sponsored by major authoritarian powers and embodied by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Evidence to support this claim can be found through a qualitative content analysis of SCO's official documents, including official statements, from the end of 2010 to mid-2013, that is, during the development of the 'Arab Spring' events. This article develops a tentative analysis of these data and envisages possible avenues for future research.


  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization
  • Colored Revolutions
  • Arab Spring
  • Authoritarianism
  • Central Asia


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