The overall purpose of the project is threefold: Instead of most of the former studies that had been restricted only to one indicative factor or cause in the majority and therefore, remain vague, cursory and one-dimensional, this project takes a multi-level approach by considering four different arenas under scrutiny for the dissemination of authoritarian elements. Thus, as a first objective the project addresses the lack of a conceptual basis concerning the international dimension of authoritarian rule and offers a better understanding of the dissemination of autocratic elements through the concept of AGCs.
Secondly, using a Most Different Cases Design (MDCD) that takes rational and constructivist arguments into account the project intends to shed light into the promotion of autocracy (intentional, actor-driven) as well as the diffusion (unintentional, neutral transmission). In lieu of already existing concepts, it attributes great importance not only to the promoter but also to the receiver of political transmission. In other words, AGCs can be effective in two ways: as active promoter (push) or as neutral source of attraction (pull). Overall, we claim that both types of influence must be incorporated in order to understand and analysis the transmission of autocratic institutional settings, ideas, norms, procedures or practices.
Lastly, the established model will be applied in a cross-area-comparison of three world regions in order to not only offer a conceptual model but also deliver empirical evidence for the process of autocratization as a regional phenomenon.