Working Paper No. 11 has arrived

Working paper / June 2018

EU-STRAT has released its eleventh working paper. Click on the title below to download the PDF.

Working Paper No.11 (2018): Varieties of Social Orders: The political and economic fundamentals of hybrid (in)stability in the post-Soviet space

Authors: Esther Ademmer, Julia Langbein and Tanja A. Börzel


This paper takes the seminal work of Douglass North, John Wallis and Barry Weingast on varieties of social orders as a starting point to introduce a refined typology of limited access orders (LAOs) that integrates the political and economic fundamentals of hybrid (in)stability. We find that LAOs do not necessarily constrain access in the political and economic sphere to the same extent. Some combine relative economic openness with strictly limited political competition, while others constrain access to economic resources but allow for a considerable degree of political opening. This latter type proves to be the most instable type of LAO. The different strategies used by dominant elites to maintain stability in various types of LAOs provide insights into how open access institutions interact with limited access institutions in hybrid regimes. While we develop our typology for six post-Soviet countries from the third wave of democratization that function as LAOs, our typology may be applied to other hybrid regimes as well.