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Das Innovationsdilemma und die Konsolidierung autokratischer Regime (The Innovation Dilemma and the Consolidation of Autocratic Regimes)

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Abstract

Despite the obvious (though as of yet unclear) relationship between economic growth and the persistence of autocratic regimes, there are only few studies that examine how innovation processes affect autocracies – and vice versa. Linking the scholarship on authoritarian consolidation with insights from the National Innovation Systems- and Science and Technology Studies literature, this article argues that processes of innovation in autocracies initiate social, economic and political processes that force a regime to constantly improve its institutional structures and enhance its channels into society. This consolidation of authoritarian rule in turn benefits further innovation. As a comparison of China and Myanmar will illustrate, this strategy can enhance a regime’s legitimacy, but is a difficult and risky process. As a result, many regimes instead choose to uphold their rule by relying on repression.

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... Seit Ende der 1990-er Jahre wird auf der UN-Ebene darum (Hansel et al. 2018), vertreten die meisten Demokratien stattdessen einen Ansatz, bei dem es primär um den Schutz der technischen Systeme geht und nicht um deren Gefahrenpotenziale im Hinblick auf die eigene Regimesicherheit (Mueller 2020). Hinzu kommt, dass auch autokratische Regierungen entsprechend des sogenannten "Innovationsdilemmas" nicht mehr umhinkönnen, ihre eigene Wirtschaft zunehmend auch auf digitaler Ebene zu stärken, wofür ein gewisses Maß an Interkonnektivität und somit fehlendem staatlichen Einfluss hierauf notwendig ist (Göbel 2012). Somit stellen demokratische Unternehmen durch ihre ökonomischen Verflechtungen mit autokratischen Firmen Interdependenzen sowie Interessenskompatibilitäten her, welche die Anreize für konsequent konfliktives Verhalten der autokratischen Regierungen reduzieren. ...
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Contrary to its original founding history, the Internet appears to be increasingly instrumentalized by state actors. Autocracies, in particular, are increasingly using cyberspace as a space for offensive conflict resolution. However, democratic states have also developed genuine power resources in digital space, primarily on the basis of their technological superiority. This literature review provides an analysis of the political science research landscape’s approach to power in cyberspace to date. Previous conceptualizations are compared and combined into an integrative model that differentiates mainly between power resources and power functions. To make these empirically visible, the proxy-concept is first discussed in terms of its theoretical implications and then used as an analytical reference category for discussing specific debates about power in cyberspace. These relate firstly to the use of offensive cyber proxies by autocratic states, secondly to the instrumentalization of defensive cyber proxies by democratic states, and thirdly to the respective role of state proxies for both regime types in the context of an agenda-setting function at the international level. In each case, a distinction is made between the two categories at the hard and soft power level, which makes it possible to more explicitly elaborate the limited, but in part existing, significance of material power functions that can be pursued by proxies in cyberspace. In all three empirical fields, power in cyberspace refers predominantly to information as a central resource, which is used primarily to manipulate existing asymmetries vis-à-vis external and internal actors on the part of autocratic and democratic governments. In this context, power plays an important role for offensive as well as defensive escalation control in the context of conflicts, but also power resources of non-state actors, which are aimed at discursively influencing international efforts to regulate cyberspace as a conflict resolution domain.
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