The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships
Carles Boix and
Milan Svolik ()
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Carles Boix: Princeton University
Papers from Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy
Why do some dictatorships establish institutions that are typically associated with democracy, such as legislatures or political parties? We propose a new theoretical model of institutions and power-sharing in dictatorships. We argue that by facilitating power-sharing, political institutions promote the survival of dictatorships. However, authoritarian power-sharing through institutions is feasible only when it is backed by the crude but credible threat of a rebellion by the dictator's allies. Whereas the allies' political opportunities determine the credibility of the threat of a rebellion, institutions alleviate the commitment and monitoring problems that stem from the secrecy in authoritarian governance. We use both historical and large-N data to assess these new predictions about the relationship between political institutions, dictator tenure, and the concentration of power in dictatorships.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ecl:prirpe:10-21-2009b
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