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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Abstract. The concept of neopatrimonialism formed as a response to the non-obviousness of basic assumptions of the democratic transit paradigm has gained great popularity in analyzing the political development of African, Latin American, Southeast Asian, and post-Soviet states. However, the explosive growth of research based on these concept starts to cause concerns of its blurring and loss of heuristic potential. One of the most important problem is correlation between neopatrimonialism concept and the category of political regimes. This problem has two principal aspects. First, it is important to determine whether neopatrimonialism itself is a kind of political regime. A negative answer to this question implies the need to clarify what kind of political science category it represents. Second, it is important to clarify how neopatrimonialism relates to the existing typology of political regimes. Are authoritarian regimes the natural abode for neopatrimonialism, or neopatrimonialism could be found anywhere – from authoritarianism to democracy? The article consists of two parts, which correspond to the above-mentioned aspects. In the first part, the author analyzes the existing notions of neopatrimonialism as a political regime, political system, political order, and concludes that neopatrimonialism is a type of political domination formed by two Max Weber’s ideal types: rational-legal and patrimonial ones. In the second part of article, the author summarizes research approaches to the problem of neopatrimonialism in different types of political regimes. Taking into account Alexander Fisun’s concept of “neopatrimonial democracy”, and Thomas Carothers’s typology of “gray zone”, the author considers the idea of identifying authoritarianism and neopatrimonialism as irrelevant. Summarizing the debates on the correlation of neopatrimonialism and typology of political regimes, the author considers the idea of their strict conformity as counterproductive. Rather, neopatrimonialism concept provides another dimension for political systems, analyzing the degree of private appropriation of the public sphere and new forms of constructing the traditional type of dominance in modernity. In turn, these phenomena could be combined with both authoritarian and democratic practices.
Keywords: neopatrimonialism, patrimonialism, political regime, neo-patrimonial democracy, legitimate rule.

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