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The Leadership Secrets of Bismarck

Imperial Germany and Competitive Authoritarianism

Author: Michael Bernhard
November / December 2011
Foreign Affairs


China is hardly the first great power to make authoritarian development look attractive. As Jonathan Steinberg's new biography of Bismarck shows, Wilhelmine Germany did it with ease. But can even successful nondemocratic political systems thrive and evolve peacefully over the long run? The answer depends on whether authoritarian elites can tolerate sharing power.

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