A Loyal Middle Class: How Post-Communist Autocrats Use the State Sector to Secure Support

Feb. 20, 2019, 12:30-1:50pm
Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 19 University Place, New York, NY

Join NYU's Jordan Center for a talk with Bryn Rosenfeld, University of Southern California, on how autocracies use the institution of public sector employment to secure the support of key middle class constituencies. Rosenfeld notes that remarkably little systematic research examines middle class attitudes toward democracy in contemporary autocratic settings, and analyzes questions such as: will growing post-communist middle classes enhance their countries’ prospects for democracy? Or might it be the case that certain modes of state-supported middle class growth, in fact, delay democratization?  Rosenfeld will argue that support for democracy and the prospects for mobilized democratic transition hinge considerably on the middle classes’ degree of state dependence.


Bryn Rosenfeld, assistant professor of political science, University of Southern California