“Dictators and Their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines”
Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution
Welcome by Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
Moderated by Ann Marie Murphy, Associate Professor, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918
No Registration Required.
In this presentation, Sheena Chestnut Greitens will discuss her new Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Dictators and Their Secret Police (Cambridge University Press, 2016). This work explores the role of the coercive apparatus under authoritarian rule in Asia – how these secret organizations originated, how they operated, and how their violence affected ordinary citizens. Greitens argues that autocrats face a coercive dilemma: whether to create internal security forces designed to manage popular mobilization, or defend against potential coup. Violence against civilians, she suggests, is a byproduct of their attempt to resolve this dilemma. Drawing on a wealth of new historical evidence, this book challenges conventional wisdom on dictatorship: what autocrats are threatened by, how they respond, and how this affects the lives and security of the millions under their rule. It offers a view into the use of surveillance, coercion, and violence, and sheds new light on the institutional and social foundations of authoritarian power.