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Waving between democratic regimes and authoritarian regimes：The research on hybrid regimes
Since the end of the Cold War, liberal democracy has become the most famous political regime in the world. At the same time, however, hybrid regimes that mix autocratic and democratic features have proliferated. To date, it seems to have a tendency that democratic regimes are outnumbered by the hybrid regimes. With a view to above phenomenon, this research firstly tries to use data bases of Freedom House, Polity IV and DPI to induct an operational definition of hybrid regime. By observing the distribution and variation of hybrid regimes in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia and even at a global level from 1991 to 2015, it justifies the arguments that the number of hybrid regimes has increased since the Cold War. Since these numerous hybrid regimes are from democratic and authoritarian regimes, or they have become hybrid regimes before the Cold War, this research is divided into three paths and investigates the causes of forming these paths. These three paths are “maintaining at hybrid regimes in long-term”, “from democratic to hybrid regime” and “from authoritarian to hybrid regime”. In this regard, this research finds that the international environment which is suited for hybrid regimes after the Cold War, in the meanwhile democratic recession and authoritarian resurgence has continued over the last decade, and many rulers manipulate instrumental values of democracy as well. They all provide a good condition for hybrid regimes to be nurtured. Facing up to the growing number of hybrid regimes, how to uncover its mask to pretend their authoritarian essences is the urgent task. As a result, in addition to strengthening democracy governance capacity to recover its attractiveness, we should recognize the fact that democratic regime is not just one type of liberal democracy. If non-western democracy could be contained within different countries of various political cultures, it would increase democracy’s flexibility and adaptability and prevent democratic regimes from challenging by hybrid regimes.
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