skip to Main Content


Among the many factors driving an authoritarian resurgence around the world is a trend of increasing significance: the rise of regimes featuring dominant parties that engage in creeping autocratization. This trend covers a range of countries with different levels of overall democratic quality, from fragile democracies to more repressive regimes. The trend’s common thread is that one party ensconces itself in power and effectively nullifies opposition parties. These dominant-party regimes present especially high-profile and thorny dilemmas for international democracy support in that they can often co-opt programs that offer support to state organs, election commissions, technical bodies, facilitators of intraparty mediation, and members of civil society.

Under the auspices of the European Democracy Hub, Ken Godfrey and Richard Youngs and a group of country experts studied the contours of this trend and the concerns it has raised among democracy practitioners, foundations, and donors about democracy support. The above article draws on and synthesizes the findings of four case studies of different types of dominant-party regimes in GeorgiaMozambiqueNicaragua, and Zimbabwe. This research demonstrates that the dynamics specific to these types of regimes undermine the utility of many traditional forms of support for sound governance and democracy. The democracy support community has begun to respond to this challenge in some places, but the task is becoming more pressing and requires far more systematic policy attention than it has so far received.

Country case studies:






More news

Joint statement on Article 17 of the European Media Freedom Act
Joint statement on Article 17 of the European Media Freedom Act
Turning the page on 2022: 12 key moments for democracy this year
Enhancing social accountability in the Republic of Moldova through policy dialogue
Public letter to the Czech Minister of European Affairs and the EU Ministers of European Affairs on the Regulation of Political Adverstising
Reaction to the European Commission’s Proposal for a European Media Freedom Act
Youth Democracy cohort EPD
The voice of the 50%: EPD announces its co-leadership of the Youth Civic and Political Engagement Cohort of the Summit for Democracy
Exploring worldwide democratic innovations
Exploring Worldwide Democratic Innovations
EPD COnference 2022
Supporting democracy and improving coordination in a new era: takeaways from the European Partnership for Democracy Conference 2022
Club de Madrid Mission Cabo Verde
Djuntu pa Igualdadi! Fighting Gender-based Violence with a participatory approach
10 recommendations for a European response to the Ukraine invasion
Civil society recommendations for an ambitious rule of law report in 2022
EPD stands with Ukraine
Back To Top