The lure of autocratic regimes is undeniable as political parties that embody such regime changes attract a large and growing crowd of voters. This essay attempts to account for the lure of autocratic governance as it gradually spreads. It proceeds in three parts. The first part considers how neoliberal governance arrangements pioneered post-truth autocratic politics/policies in articulation with the imposition of market rule and, in doing so, cleared the way for the present-day nativist populisms. The second part considers the institutional configuration through which the democratic has been fundamentally transformed over the past few decades in the direction of what observers call a postdemocratic constellation. The final part grapples with the enduring lure of autocratic populism and how it deepens the very deadlock of the current situation.
The Perverse Lure of Autocratic Postdemocracy
Erik Swyngedouw is a professor of geography at the University of Manchester, UK. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include urban political ecology, hydro-social conflict, urban governance, democracy and political power, environmental politics, and the politics of globalization. He was previously a professor of geography at Oxford University and held the Vincent Wright Visiting Professorship at Science Po, Paris, 2014. His publications include Promises of the Political (2018), Liquid Power (2015), and Flows of Power (2004). He holds honorary doctorates from Roskilde University, Denmark, and from the University of Malmö, Sweden.
Erik Swyngedouw; The Perverse Lure of Autocratic Postdemocracy. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2019; 118 (2): 267–286. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7381134
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