in: World Development 75/2015 (Special Issue: Political Conditionality and EU Foreign Aid), 85–96
Dominant party systems trigger controversy about how the EU should engage with them. The examples of Ethiopia and Rwanda show that the willingness of authoritarian governments to engage with the EU on democratic reforms varies widely. The paper argues that the type of challenge to regime survival that authoritarian governments face affects both their coercive strategies and their openness to engaging with the EU, giving the EU different entry points to support reforms. Yet, due to EU domestic factors and difficulties with ‘reading’ authoritarian regimes’ logic of political survival, the EU has problems making use of this dynamic.