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The Rise of Authoritarian Regional International Organizations

Aug. 12, 2021 | Stephan Haggard and Christina Cottiero

The number and influence of regional international organizations (RIOs) with powerful authoritarian members is on the rise, helping to stall democratization and preserve autocratic regimes. This paper, the first in an IGCC series on authoritarian international organizations, charts the growth of authoritarian RIOs since the end of World War II to present day and analyzes their pathways for influence, including through election monitoring, peacekeeping, and development assistance. Authors Stephan Haggard and Christina Cottiero conclude by exploring the implications for U.S. foreign policy, including how the U.S. can build coalitions of its own; whether (or not) the U.S. should engage with certain authoritarian RIOs; and why the U.S. should be cautious when partnering with certain regional organizations.

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