The course gives an overview over the newer literature on electoral authoriatarianism. Several studies have found that autocracies which hold elections are more stable than those who do not. Elections provide legitimation for autocrats – internally among their own populations, and externally in the eyes of the international community. While the coercive capacity of authoritarian regimes remains of crucial importance, this strengthened legitimacy coupled with greater popular representation may reduce the need for repression.
A special focus of the course will be laid on the behavior of actors like opposition groups, ruling parties, or civil society organizations. We will discuss how and when the opposition is able to challenge a ruling regime, and how ruling elites respond to these challenges.
Art, David. 2012. „What Do We Know About Authoritarianism After Ten Years?“ Comparative Politics 44(3): 351–73.
Gandhi, Jennifer, and Adam Przeworski. “Authoritarian Institutions and the Survival of Autocrats.” Comparative Political Studies 40(11): 1279–1301.
Morse, Yonatan L. 2012. „The Era of Electoral Authoritarianism“. World Politics 64(01): 161–98.