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More than Rubber-Stamps: The Consequences Produced by Legislatures in Non-Democratic States beyond Latent Legitimation

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Abstract:

Despite various works suggesting the contrary, legislatures in non-democratic states are overwhelmingly generalised as ‘rubber-stamps’ that provide nothing other than latent legitimacy for those in power. Based on examination of legislatures in 10 of the world's most undemocratic states this paper highlights their capacity to act in precisely the opposite manner, serving to empower citizens, strengthen opposition groups and weaken dictatorial regimes. Whilst recognising that legislatures can be manipulated and subjugated by such regimes, the article seeks to highlight the variations between legislatures and the need to take account of their true potential.

Keywords: Burma; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Laos; Libya; North Korea; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; legislative functions; non-democratic legislatures

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2012.673064

Affiliations: University of Hull with a degree in British Politics and Legislative Studies in 2010London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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