About 25 years after Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the ‘end of history’,
ideological and strategic competition between democracies and autocracies
has firmly reentered international relations. The rise of China has
fuelled debates about the economic performance of authoritarian regimes
compared with democratic ones (Zhao 2010; Acemoglu and Robinson
2012). Questions about the attractiveness of alternative development
models have gained prominence, not least with the economic and financial
crises that hit the European Union (EU) but left China largely unaffected.
In addition, several observers have identified a pushback across the developing
world against EU and USA good governance support, which is at
least partly driven by the rise of China and other authoritarian powers
(Puddington 2008; Carothers and Brechenmacher 2014).

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