Politikon, Vol. 33 

Publication Date: August 2017


Responsible: The IAPSS Academic Department, represented by Lorand Bodo, Acting Editor-in-Chief of Politikon and Max Steuer, Head of the Academic Department.

Copyright © 2017 International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS). All rights reserved.

Full Issue

Front Matter (Table of Contents, Editorial Note)

Call for Papers and Instructions for Authors

Included in this issue

Original Articles

Rather Yields than Rights: The influence of economic integration on the consolidation of autocratic regimes

by David Nikolas Kristen

Politikon, 33: 5-27


Despite the research on globalization and the survival of autocracies through economic integration, the knowledge regarding the relationship between these two events, the importance of which has noticeably increased in the last decades, is still limited. This paper examines the influence that economic integration has on the consolidation and therefore the durability of autocratic regimes. I use Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression models to test the impact that foreign direct investment, trade agreements, investment treaties and membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) have on the durability of autocracies within 120 countries between 1961 and 2008. The results generally support my theoretical assumptions that a higher level of economic integration leads to increased durability and hence consolidation of autocracies. However, WTO membership decreases the durability, and FDI inflows have an impact only within a certain range while trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties extend the lifespan of the examined cases.


Autocracies, Consolidation of Autocracies, Economic Integration, Foreign Direct Investment, Trade Agreements, Investment Treaties, WTO, Regime Durability

Left-wing Populism in Spain: Discursive Formations on the European Union

by Juan Roch González

Politikon, 33: 28-46


This article examines the discursive appeal of Podemos, an allegedly left-wing “populist party” in Spain, to European Union (EU) issues. It analyses the political discourse of this party on the EU focusing on specific points of rupture of the hegemonic discourses in the Spanish political system. Literature on party politics and populism offers empirical evidence about the emergence of traditional right-wing populist parties and new left-wing populist parties in Europe; scholars have also studied the Eurosceptic tendency of right-wing populist parties. However, little attention has been paid to the discursive approach of left-wing populist parties to the EU. Using discourse analysis, this study illuminates the points of rupture of the hegemonic discursive formations in Spain and identifies the articulatory practices of Podemos on EU issues. The results indicate that the EU is integrated in an ambivalent way in the dichotomist discourse of Podemos and its antagonist view of society.


Podemos, EU Issues, Left-Wing Populism, Hegemonic Discourse, Articulatory Practices

Sanctions and Decision-Making Processes in Russia: Towards a Better Understanding?

by Rebecca L. Smith

Politikon, 33: 47-61


Sanctions are a method for countries to coerce a change in policy. In theory, when Russia’s largest trading partners all placed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of Crimea, Russia would have eventually decided to withdraw from the region to reestablish its trade relations. Three years later, no such change in policy has occurred. This leads to the question: are sanctions on Russia ineffective? To better understand the extent to which sanctions on Russia are effective, this paper seeks to explore how one can best understand Russian foreign policy decision-making concerning Crimea in response to economic sanctions. To assess this question, I consider the Russian perception of the sanctions, applying Expected Utility Theory and Prospect Theory to investigate if either offer a useful framework for understanding the situation. Ultimately, I argue that Prospect Theory offers a useful lens to view the Russian foreign policy decision-making behavior while under sanctions.


Sanctions, Russia, Crimea, Prospect Theory, Expected Utility Theory, Annexation

Religion and Politics in Italy: The Role of Christian Democracy in Post-War Democratisation

by Gianmarco Capati

Politikon, 33: 62-74


Entering the controversial debate on the effects of religion on democratisation, this research enquires into the role of the Italian Christian Democratic party (Democrazia Cristiana, or DC) in post-war democratisation in Italy. Through a largely discursive analysis of the historical rise of the party, the article adopts a case-study approach to test the “inclusion-moderation hypothesis”. This hypothesis is applied to the two distinct historical phases of the DC’s activity: the “inclusion” phase (from 1945 to 1958) and the “moderation” phase (from 1958 onwards). The findings suggest that the DC contributed to post-war democratisation by drawing broad consensus from both the Catholic laity and the Church, in the first phase, and moderating its religiously exclusive goals and the views of the Church in the second phase—leading to even wider support from the electorate.


Democratisation, Religion, Christian Democracy, Inclusion, Moderation, Dialogue