The twentieth century saw the emergence of a number of authoritarian regimes—China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, the USSR—that have both challenged the global order and persisted in the face of massive external pressure and catastrophic economic downturns. The focus will be on the impact the Soviet Union’s revolutionary origins on its durability in the face of repeated crises (famine, foreign invasion) in the twentieth century.
Lucan Way is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Way’s research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union and the developing world. He is the author of Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Political Competition (2015) and Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky, 2010).