This chapter examines the scholarly work on authoritarianism in the Middle East North African republics. In the 1950s–1960s, modernization theory and Weberian analysis explained the instability of the region and state builders attempts to build new authority, which seemed consolidated from the 1970s. Critical political economy distinguished kinds of authoritarianism according to the class composition of the ruling coalition. In the nineties, scholars interrogated whether democratization would reach the region and in the 2000s focused on the resilience of authoritarianism. The Arab uprisings further stimulated debate over the forces for and against the viability of authoritarian rule in the region.