Johannes Gerschewski - EDP Network

Johannes Gerschewski – EDP Network

Johannes Gerschewski

Johannes Gerschewski is a research fellow at the research unit on the comparative analysis of political systems at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Before joining the department, he was a pre- and post-doctoral fellow at the department of “Democracy and Democratization” at the WZB Social Science Center Berlin (2011-2016). At the WZB he co-headed with Wolfgang Merkel a DFG-funded project on “Critical Junctures and the Survival of Dictatorships”. His research interests lie with comparative political regime research, the analysis of democratization processes as well as methodological questions – he currently works on the stability of East Asia’s autocracies and deals with questions of legitimacy in young democracies and autocracies

Johannes obtained his doctoral degree in 2014 at Humboldt University Berlin (“summa cum laude”). In his dissertation he compared historically the stabilizing conditions of East Asia’s autocratic regimes since 1945. He argues that the complementarity between the “three pillars of stability” of legitimation, repression, and co-optation along with the institutionalization process within these pillars make an autocracy endure. He is currently focusing his publications on these issues.

Johannes is also one of the co-founders of the methodologically oriented “Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences”. Between 2001 and 2008, Johannes studied political science, philosophy, and economics as well as International Business and Cultural Studies in Passau, Berlin, and Seoul, and then worked at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies in Hamburg for a year. In 2014 Johannes was a guest at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

More about Johannes Gerschewski here.

Contact: johannes.gerschewski [at]

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Publications by Johannes Gerschewski

Johannes Gerschewski, Wolfgang Merkel | 2019

Democratic Transformation after the Second World War

in: Kollmorgen, Raj/Merkel, Wolfgang/Wagener, Hans-Jürgen (Eds.): Oxford Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 280-292.

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Johannes Gerschewski, Anja Neundorf , Roman-Gabriel Olar | 2019

How Do Inclusionary and Exclusionary Autocracies Affect Ordinary People?

in: Comparative Political Studies (online first).

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Johannes Gerschewski, Alexander Dukalskis | 2018

Adapting or Freezing? Ideological Reactions of Communist Regimes to a Post-Communist World

in: Government and Opposition (2018), 1-22.

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Johannes Gerschewski, Alexander Dukalskis | 2018

How the Internet Can Reinforce Authoritarian Regimes

in: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 19, 12-19.

Johannes Gerschewski | 2018

Legitimacy in Autocracies: Oxymoron or Essential Feature?

in: Perspectives on Politics 16:3, 652-665.

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Johannes Gerschewski, Alexander Dukalskis | 2018

Justifying Dictatorship


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Johannes Gerschewski, Christoph H. Stefes | 2018

Crisis in Autocratic Regimes

Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

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Johannes Gerschewski | 2017

Analyzing Crises in Autocratic Regimes

in: Gerschewski, Johannes/Stefes, Christoph H. (eds): Crisis in Authocratic Regimes, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, forthcoming.

Johannes Gerschewski | 2017

The three pillars and the survival of electoral autocracies – A reply

in: Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 11: 2, 237-246.

Johannes Gerschewski, Kressen Thyen | 2017

Legitimacy and protest under authoritarianism: explaining student mobilization in Egypt and Morocco during the Arab uprisings

in: Democratization, published online: 25 April 2017.

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Johannes Gerschewski, Alexander Dukalskis | 2017

What autocracies say (and what citizens hear): proposing four mechanisms of autocratic legitimation

in: Contemporary Politics, published online: 16 March 2017.

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Johannes Gerschewski | 2016

Do Ideocracies Constitute a Distinct Subtype of Autocratic Regimes?

in: Backes, Uwe/Kailitz, Steffen (eds): Ideocracies in Comparison, London: Routledge, 88-105.

Johannes Gerschewski, Wolfgang Merkel | 2014

Stabilität autokratischer Herrschaft

in: Braml, Josef/Merkel, Wolfgang/Sandschneider, Eberhard (eds.): Außenpolitik mit Autokratien, DGAP-Jahrbuch Internationale Politik, Munich: Oldenbourg, 43-56.

Wolfgang Merkel, Johannes Gerschewski | 2014

Demokratische Transformationen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg

in: Kollmorgen, Raj/Merkel, Wolfgang/Wagener, Hans-Jürgen (eds.), Handbuch Transformationsforschung, Wiesbaden: VS Springer, 339-353.

Johannes Gerschewski | 2013

The Three Pillars of Stability: Legitimation, Repression, and Cooptation in Autocratic Regimes

in: Democratization 20: 1, 13-38.  [Recipient of the Frank Cass Prize for the Best Article by a Young Scholar; most read article of Democratization in 2013]

Johannes Gerschewski | 2013

Ideokratien als autokratischer Subtypus?

in: Kailitz, Steffen/Backes, Uwe (eds.): Ideokratien im Vergleich, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 95-112.

Johannes Gerschewski, Wolfgang Merkel, et al. | 2012

Warum überleben Autokratien?

in: Politische Vierteljahrsschrift, Sonderheft 47, 106-131.

Johannes Gerschewski, Patrick Köllner | 2011

Überlebensstrategien des post-totalitären Regimes in Nordkorea

in: ASIEN 119, 67-78.

Johannes Gerschewski | 2010

Zur Persistenz von Autokratien. Ein Literaturüberblick

in: Berliner Debatte Initial 21: 3, 42-53.

Martin Beck, Johannes Gerschewski | 2009

On the Fringes of the International Community. The Making and Survival of ‘Rogue States’

in: Security and Peace 27: 2, 84-90.

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