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Photo: “Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership meeting in Budapest 14“, by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Ulybina, Olga. “Policy instrument choice under globalization: Do authoritarian states choose differently?.” World Development 151 (2022): 105774.


Do authoritarian states differ from non-authoritarian ones in their social policy choices? The paper presents new data on childcare deinstitutionalization policies in 15 ex-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The data suggest significant convergence among countries in the adoption of both deinstitutionalization policy ‘ends’ and ‘means’, despite drastic differences in political regimes. In particular, I trace the adoption of several instruments, which have been actively promoted by international organizations (e.g., foster care, case management, downsizing of institutions, etc.). The data suggest that authoritarian states in the ex-Soviet region do not differ from non-authoritarian governments in their deinstitutionalization instrument choices, suggesting that political regime is not always a major policy determinant. The results are significant because they show that authoritarian regimes can also select modern, non-coercive instruments for childcare deinstitutionalization, which are underpinned by the idea of agentic actors and the centrality of the individual.

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.