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Economic and Social Rights in Authoritarian Regimes: Rights, Well-Being and Strategies of Authoritarian Rule in Singapore, Jordan and Belarus

Kaleja, Ance

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This study aims to explore the relationship between economic and social rights (ESR) and authoritarian regimes through scrutinising the performance of three outlier autocracies, namely, Singapore, Jordan and Belarus. These states indicate relatively high levels of ESR fulfilment, which is puzzling in light of existing theories that point to a democratic advantage. The research framework is derived from literature on human rights, authoritarian research and welfare states and the study proceeds with in-depth case studies using the approach of historical institutionalism. It inquires how these regimes have attained valuable ESR outcomes; why they have opted to pursue socio-economic performance and whether the institutionalisation of ESR in the given contexts is compatible with the overarching human rights principles of universality, accountability and inalienability. This research illuminates the connection between rights, well-being and strategies of authoritarian governance specifically in their pursuit of legitimacy. It argues that the multifaceted role of domains associated with ESR cannot be reduced to a mere provision of goods in exchange for compliance or their social control potential, but is crucially intertwined with a strategic and intentional use of informal institutions, which, with the help of welfare institutions, become intrinsic features of authoritarian welfare provision. People’s access to ESR and their capabilities to improve well-being consequently fringes on their ‘voluntary’ approval of state-sanctioned formal and informal institutions.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Haus, Prof. Dr. Michael
Date of thesis defense: 31 January 2017
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 08:18
Date: 2019
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Institute of Political Science
Subjects: 320 Political science
Controlled Keywords: Economic and Social Rights, Autoritärer Staat, Well-being, Welfare, Political Regime, Menschenrechtler, Wohlfahrtsstaat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economic and Social Rights; Authoritarian regimes, Well-being; Welfare
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