The Politics of Authoritarian Rule

The Politics of Authoritarian Rule

by Milan W. Svolik
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1107607450

ISBN-13: 9781107607453

Pub. Date: 10/31/2012

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107607453
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2012
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
806,690
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the anatomy of dictatorship; 2. The world of authoritarian politics; Part I. The Problem of Authoritarian Power-Sharing: 3. And then there was one!: authoritarian power-sharing and the path to personal dictatorship; 4. Institutions, collective action, and the success of authoritarian power-sharing; Part II. The Problem of Authoritarian Control: 5. Moral hazard in authoritarian repression and the origins of military dictatorships; 6. Why authoritarian parties?: the regime party as an instrument of co-optation and control; 7. Conclusion: incentives and institutions in authoritarian politics.

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