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Vidal, Nuno. “The New Wave of International Authoritarian Populism of the 2010s Has Also Arrived in Africa? The Mozambique and Angolan Cases.” Topoi, vol. 24, no. 52, 1 Jan. 2023, pp. 52–76


This paper deals with the possible impact of the most recent international authoritarian populist tendencies on sub-Saharan African political systems. Contrary to the main currents of interpretation, this paper argues that we are not in face of a new international influence or role model being locally followed, but in face of the most recent example of a long political-historical path of selective assimilation of international trends to local political systems as structured after independence. We are not witnessing to poor local replicas of the most recent international wave of authoritarian populism of 2010s, but to another selective assimilation of political features to serve the existing and locally dominant systems. Through the analysis of the specific cases of Mozambique and Angola, this paper theoretically and historically discusses the nature of regimes and political systems through a critical approach on the most recent historical/political science discussions of so-called hybrid regimes, combining liberal and illiberal features, that resort to concepts such as illiberal democracies, façade democracies, electoral autocracies, semi-authoritarian states, competitive authoritarian regimes, post-neo-liberal States, or new competitive authoritarian regimes, among others.

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.