The Politics of Authoritarian Rule
What drives politics in dictatorships? Milan W. Svolik argues that all authoritarian regimes must resolve two fundamental conflicts. First, dictators face threats from the masses over which they rule - this is the problem of authoritarian control. A second, separate challenge arises from the elites with whom dictators rule - this is the problem of authoritarian power-sharing. Crucially, whether and how dictators resolve these two problems is shaped by the dismal environment in which authoritarian politics takes place: in a dictatorship, no independent authority has the power to enforce agreements among key actors and violence is the ultimate arbiter of conflict. Using the tools of game theory, Svolik explains why some dictators, such as Saddam Hussein, establish personal autocracy and stay in power for decades; why leadership changes elsewhere are regular and institutionalized, as in contemporary China; why some dictatorships are ruled by soldiers, as Uganda was under Idi Amin; why many authoritarian regimes, such as PRI-era Mexico, maintain regime-sanctioned political parties; and why a country's authoritarian past casts a long shadow over its prospects for democracy, as the unfolding events of the Arab Spring reveal. When assessing his arguments, Svolik complements these and other historical case studies with the statistical analysis of comprehensive, original data on institutions, leaders, and ruling coalitions across all dictatorships from 1946 to 2008.
The World of Authoritarian Politics
And Then There Was One Authoritarian PowerSharing and
When and Why Institutions Contribute to Authoritarian
Moral Hazard in Authoritarian Repression and the Origins
Other editions - View all
al-Asad allies analysis authoritarian leaders authoritarian parties authoritarian politics authoritarian power-sharing authoritarian regimes authoritarian ruling coalitions Baath Party balance of power Bashar al-Asad beneﬁts brinkmanship challenger Chap chapter conceptual contested autocracy Continuance Democracy coup d’état covariates credibility Democracy Democracy democratic Deng Xiaoping dictator reneges dictator’s dictator’s actions distribution economic inequality effect elections elites empirical equilibrium established autocracy exit from office expected payoff features of authoritarian ﬁrst formal institutions Geddes Geddes’s government’s Hafez al-Asad Hu Jintao incentives Independence Continuance Independence Democracy institutionalized Jiang Zemin Khlevniuk Khrushchev leadership change legislative seats Magaloni mass threat military dictatorships military intervention military involvement military’s moral hazard ofﬁce party members party service Party’s percent personalist Politburo political control political parties potential President probability problem of authoritarian Przeworski rebel rebellion succeeds regime parties regime-sanctioned regime’s restrictions on political retirement share power signiﬁcant Soviet speciﬁc Stalin successful tenure term limits uprisings