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After RepressionHow Polarization Derails Democratic Transition$
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Elizabeth R. Nugent

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691203058

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691203058.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

A Theory of Polarization in Authoritarian Regimes

A Theory of Polarization in Authoritarian Regimes

Chapter:
(p.36) 2 A Theory of Polarization in Authoritarian Regimes
Source:
After Repression
Author(s):

Elizabeth R. Nugent

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691203058.003.0002

This chapter presents the book's argument in detail. It begins by reviewing existing work on three central concepts: polarization, preference formation, and repression. The chapter also highlights insights from social psychology on shared trauma, identity formation, and the causes and consequences of group identification, which are fundamental to understanding where and how the argument builds on existing approaches to polarization. It then outlines the argument that the repressive conditions within an authoritarian regime can help predict polarization levels during a transition period. The nature of the regime's political repression affects how opposition groups come to identify themselves, which in turn shapes differences in affect and preferences among the opposition groups. In this way, the nature of repression in authoritarian systems shapes the levels of political polarization observed during transitions.

Keywords:   political polarization, preference formation, repression, shared trauma, identity formation, group identification, authoritarian regime, democratic transitions, opposition groups

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