Title

Exploring Structural and Political Constraints on Authoritarian Learning: Blaise Compaoré’s Fall from Power in Burkina Faso

Poster Number

18A

Lead Author Major

Political Science

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Dari Sylvester Tran

Faculty Mentor Email

dtran1@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Political Science

Abstract/Artist Statement

In a time of increasing authoritarian proliferation and democratic backslide, it is increasingly important to study questions concerning how authoritarian regimes keep, or lose, power. This paper purports to help better understand the phenomenon of authoritarian learning, defined as the process in which authoritarian regimes adopt strategies and policies learned from the successes and failures of other regimes, or from a historical evaluation of their own regime, in order to prolong their rule. Through a case study of the 2014 revolutions in Burkina Faso and the subsequent resignation of former President Blaise Compaoré, this paper attempts to illustrate why Compaoré was unable to implement learned strategies from previous uprisings in Burkina Faso in order to keep power. This work utilizes the framework of Bank and Edel (2015) to find that learning by Compaoré, in fact, did take place, and then explores two potential variables, internal regime structure, and outside organizational forces, that help explain why policy implementation as a result of this learning was absent. This paper finds that the structural and political constraints of Burkina Faso in 2014 disallowed Compaoré from implementing strategies learned throughout his tenure that would have prolonged his rule.

1Bank, André, and Mirjam Edel. 2015. “Authoritarian Regime Learning: Comparative Insights from the Arab Uprisings.” German Institute for Global and Area Studies Working Paper 274. Hamburg: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).

Location

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

27-4-2018 2:30 PM

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Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Exploring Structural and Political Constraints on Authoritarian Learning: Blaise Compaoré’s Fall from Power in Burkina Faso

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

In a time of increasing authoritarian proliferation and democratic backslide, it is increasingly important to study questions concerning how authoritarian regimes keep, or lose, power. This paper purports to help better understand the phenomenon of authoritarian learning, defined as the process in which authoritarian regimes adopt strategies and policies learned from the successes and failures of other regimes, or from a historical evaluation of their own regime, in order to prolong their rule. Through a case study of the 2014 revolutions in Burkina Faso and the subsequent resignation of former President Blaise Compaoré, this paper attempts to illustrate why Compaoré was unable to implement learned strategies from previous uprisings in Burkina Faso in order to keep power. This work utilizes the framework of Bank and Edel (2015) to find that learning by Compaoré, in fact, did take place, and then explores two potential variables, internal regime structure, and outside organizational forces, that help explain why policy implementation as a result of this learning was absent. This paper finds that the structural and political constraints of Burkina Faso in 2014 disallowed Compaoré from implementing strategies learned throughout his tenure that would have prolonged his rule.

1Bank, André, and Mirjam Edel. 2015. “Authoritarian Regime Learning: Comparative Insights from the Arab Uprisings.” German Institute for Global and Area Studies Working Paper 274. Hamburg: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).