Political leadership, regime transitions and economic growth

When it comes to kick-starting growth, evidence from Africa and Southeast Asia suggests that authoritarian regimes have an advantage over democratic regimes. But it also shows that authoritarian regimes are also more prone to growth collapse. This is particularly true of autocratic-authoritarian regimes, which face special problems of political succession. Regimes where authoritarianism is more institutionalised and leadership is more collective fare better. Further, growth regimes often come unstuck during a transition from authoritarianism to democracy. 

All of this prompts the question of whether or not these patterns are universal. If they are, is there a pathway from authoritarianism to democracy that keeps growth on track? 

The transition from kick-starting growth to sustaining it often requires a shift to more inclusive governance. Whether from an autocratic system to a more inclusive or institutionalised authoritarianism, or from authoritarianism to more competitive forms of democracy, the shift poses challenges for political leadership. But we do not understand those challenges well. This study seeks to generate new and systematic knowledge to inform better aid policy and strategic advice for countries undergoing such transitions.

 

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About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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News

New role for Alina Rocha Menocal

Monday 31st October 2016

After many significant contributions to DLP's research, events and impact, Alina Rocha Menocal is now moving on to take up a USAID Senior Democracy Fellowship. Alina will also continue her role as a Research Fellow in ODI's Politics and Governance Programme, on a part-time basis, and we are delighted that she will retain close links with DLP as a Research Associate.

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2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

Thursday 27th October 2016

The University of Manchester's annual lecture in memory of DLP's founding Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be given this year by Nic van de Walle, Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 16 November.

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