Voter Volatility in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes: Testing the “Tragic Brilliance” Thesis

Voter Volatility in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes: Testing the “Tragic Brilliance” Thesis According to the “tragic brilliance” thesis advanced in the recent literature on electoral authoritarian regimes, such regimes retain their ability to to achieve electoral success even in the conditions when the national economy deteriorates. This study uses the data on voter volatility in 93 electoral authoritarian regimes and new democracies in order to validate the “tragic brilliance” thesis empirically. The analysis supports the “tragic brilliance” thesis. While in new democracies, a strong correlation between government economic performance and voter volatility can be observed, voter volatility in electoral authoritarian regimes is not facilitated by poor economic performance. Voter volatility declines if such regimes are able to achieve cooptation of sub-national elites without depriving them of substantial autonomy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Sociology Brill

Voter Volatility in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes: Testing the “Tragic Brilliance” Thesis

Comparative Sociology, Volume 15 (5): 535 – Oct 7, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1569-1322
eISSN
1569-1330
D.O.I.
10.1163/15691330-12341399
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

According to the “tragic brilliance” thesis advanced in the recent literature on electoral authoritarian regimes, such regimes retain their ability to to achieve electoral success even in the conditions when the national economy deteriorates. This study uses the data on voter volatility in 93 electoral authoritarian regimes and new democracies in order to validate the “tragic brilliance” thesis empirically. The analysis supports the “tragic brilliance” thesis. While in new democracies, a strong correlation between government economic performance and voter volatility can be observed, voter volatility in electoral authoritarian regimes is not facilitated by poor economic performance. Voter volatility declines if such regimes are able to achieve cooptation of sub-national elites without depriving them of substantial autonomy.

Journal

Comparative SociologyBrill

Published: Oct 7, 2016

Keywords: voter volatility; electoral authoritarianism; economic voting; economic performance; patronage; federalism

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