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Photo: “02/01/2019 Audiência com Viktor Orban, Primeiro Ministro da Hungria“, by Palácio do Planalto, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Bogaards, Matthijs. “How to classify hybrid regimes? Defective democracy and electoral authoritarianism.” Democratization 16, no. 2 (2009): 399-423.


The ‘third wave’ of democratization has resulted in the proliferation of regimes that are neither fully democratic nor classic authoritarian. To capture the nature of these hybrid regimes, the democratization literature has come up with a wide variety of adjectives as descriptors of different forms of democracy and authoritarianism. This article reviews two of the most systematic recent approaches, centring on the concepts of ‘defective democracy’ and ‘electoral authoritarianism’. An important limitation of both approaches is that each covers only one side of the spectrum. Where they meet in the middle, confusion arises. As a remedy, the article suggests to embed the concepts of defective democracy and electoral authoritarianism in a ‘double-root strategy’ that maps the full range of contemporary regimes from both sides of the political spectrum.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.