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

In: Comparative Sociology
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Political Sciences and Sociology, European University at St. Petersburg, St Petersburg, Russia

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

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.

  • Bartolini Stefano & Mair Peter Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: The Stabilisation of European Electorates 1885–1995 1990 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bednar Jenna The Robust Federation: Principles of Design 2008 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

  • Birch Sarah Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-Communist Europe 2003 New York Palgrave Macmillan

  • Blaydes Lisa Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt 2010 New York Cambridge University Press

  • Brancati Dawn “Winning Alone: The Electoral Fate of Independent Candidates Worldwide” Journal of Politics 2008a 70 3 648 662

  • Brancati Dawn “The Origins and Strength of Regional Parties” British Journal of Political Science 2008b 38 1 135 159

  • Brinks Daniel & Coppedge Michael “Diffusion Is No Illusion: Neighbor Emulation in the Third Wave of Democracy” Comparative Political Studies 2006 39 4 463 489

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brooker Paul Non-Democratic Regimes 2013 3rd edition Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan

  • Bunce Valerie J. & Wolchik Sharon L. “Defeating Dictators: Electoral Change and Stability in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes” World Politics 2010 62 1 43 86

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Campbell Angus, Converse Philip E., Miller Warren E. & Stokes Donald E. The American Voter 1960 New York Wiley

  • Caramani Daniele The Nationalization of Politics: The Formation of National Electorates and Party Systems in Western Europe 2004 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crook R. C. “Winning Coalitions and Ethno-Regional Politics: The Failure of the Opposition in the 1990 and 1995 Elections in Côte D’Ivoir” African Affairs 1997 96 no. 383 215 242

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Demchenko Oleg & Golosov Grigorii V. “Federalism, Gubernatorial Power and the Incorporation of Subnational Authoritarianism in Russia: A Theory-testing Empirical Inquiry” Acta Politica 2016 51 1 61 79

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diaz-Cayeros Alberto, Magaloni Beatriz & Weingast Barry R. “Tragic Brilliance: Equilibrium Party Hegemony in Mexico” 2003 Retrieved March 5, 2016 (http://ssrn.com/abstract=1153510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1153510)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dimitrov Martin K. “Debating the Color Revolutions: Popular Autocrats” Journal of Democracy 2009 20 1 78 81

  • Egorov Georgy, Guriev Sergei & Sonin Konstantin “Why Resource-poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data” American Political Science Review 2009 103 4 645 668

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ersson Svante, Janda Kenneth & Lane Jan-Erik “Ecology of Party Strength in Western Europe: A Regional Analysis.” Comparative Political Studies 1985 18 2 170 205

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ferree Karen E. “The Social Origins of Electoral Volatility in Africa” British Journal of Political Science 2010 40 4 759 779

  • Freedom House “Freedom in the World” 2014 Retrieved December 16, 2014 (http://freedomhouse.org).

  • Gilley Bruce “Democratic Enclaves in Authoritarian Regimes” Democratization 2010 17 3 389 415

  • Golosov Grigorii V. “The Effective Number of Parties: A New Approach” Party Politics 2010 16 2 171 192

  • Golosov Grigorii V. “The Regional Roots of Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia” Europe-Asia Studies 2011 63 4 623 639

  • Golosov Grigorii V. “The 2012 Political Reform in Russia: The Interplay of Liberalizing Concessions and Authoritarian Corrections” Problems of Post-Communism 2012 59 6 3 14

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Golosov Grigorii V. “Authoritarian Party Systems: Patterns of Emergence, Sustainability and Survival” Comparative Sociology 2013 12 5 617 644

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Golosov Grigorii V. “Party System Nationalization: The Problems of Measurement with an Application to Federal States” Party Politics 2016a 22 3 278 288

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Golosov Grigorii V. “Factors of Party System Nationalization” International Political Science Review 2016b 37 2 246 260

  • Guterbock Thomas M. Machine Politics in Transition: Party and Community in Chicago 1980 Chicago University of Chicago Press

  • Hicken Allen “Clentelism” Annual Review of Political Science 2011 14 289 310

  • Howard Marc M. & Roessler Philip G. “Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes” American Journal of Political Science 2006 50 2 365 381

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huntington Samuel P. Political Order in Changing Societies 1968 New Haven Yale University Press

  • International idea “Voter Turnout Database” 2014 Retrieved December 10, 2014 (http://www.idea.int/vt/).

  • Jones Mark P. & Mainwaring Scott “The Nationalization of Parties and Party Systems: An Empirical Measure and an Application to the Americas” Party Politics 2003 9 2 139 166

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Joseph Richard “Democracy and Reconfigured Power in Africa” Current History 2011 110 no. 739 324 330

  • Kuenzi Michelle & Lambright Gina “Party Systems and Democratic Consolidation in Africa’s Electoral Regimes” Party Politics 2005 11 4 423 446

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laakso Markku & Taagepera Rein “ ‘Effective’ Number of Parties: A Measure with Application to West Europe” Comparative Political Studies 1979 12 1 3 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lehoucq Fabrice “Electoral Fraud: Causes, Types, and Consequences” Annual Review of Political Science 2003 6 233 256

  • Lewis-Beck Michael S. & Stegmaier Mary “Economic Determinants of Electoral Outcomes” Annual Review of Political Science 2000 3 183 219

  • Lindberg Staffan I. Democratization by Elections: A New Mode of Transition 2009 Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Press

  • Lust-Okar Ellen “Elections under Authoritarianism: Preliminary Lessons from Jordan” Democratization 2006 13 3 456 471

  • Magaloni Beatriz Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and Its Demise in Mexico 2006 New York Cambridge University Press

  • Magaloni Beatriz “The Game of Electoral Fraud and the Ousting of Authoritarian Rule” American Journal of Political Science 2010 54 3 751 765

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Magaloni Beatriz & Kricheli Ruth “Political Order and One-party Rule” Annual Review of Political Science 2010 13 123 143

  • Mainwaring Scott & Zoco Edurne “Political Sequences and the Stabilization of Interparty Competition Electoral Volatility in Old and New Democracies” Party Politics 2007 13 2 155 178

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Malesky Edmund & Schuler Paul “Paint-by-Numbers Democracy: The Stakes, Structure, Results, and Implications of the 2007 Vietnamese National Assembly Elections” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 2008 4 1 1 48

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mozaffar Shaheen & Scarritt James “The Puzzle of African Party Systems” Party Politics 2005 11 4 399 421

  • Norris Pippa “The New Research Agenda Studying Electoral Integrity” Electoral Studies 2013 32 4 563 575

  • O’Brien Robert M. “A Caution Regarding Rules of Thumb for Variance Inflation Factors” Quality and Quantity 2007 41 5 673 690

  • Obydenkova Anastassia & Swenden Wilfried “Autocracy-sustaining versus Democratic Federalism: Explaining the Divergent Trajectories of Territorial Politics in Russia and Western Europe” Territory, Politics, Governance 2013 1 1 86 112

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pedersen Mogens “The Dynamics of European Party Systems: Changing Patterns of Electoral Volatility” European Journal of Political Research 1979 7 1 1 26

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pedersen Mogens Daalder Hans & Mair Peter “Changing Patterns of Electoral Volatility in European Party Systems, 1948–1977” Western European Party Systems: Continuity and Change 1983 Beverly Hills, CA Sage 29 66

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pepinsky Thomas “The Institutional Turn in Comparative Authoritarianism” British Journal of Political Science 2014 44 3 631 653

  • Powell Eleanor N. & Tucker Joshua A. “Revisiting Electoral Volatility in Post-Communist Countries: New Data, New Results and New Approaches” British Journal of Political Science 2014 44 1 123 147

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Powell G. Bingham & Whitten Guy D. “A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context” American Journal of Political Science 1993 37 2 391 414

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renwick Alan “Electoral Reform in Europe since 1945” West European Politics 2011 34 3 456 477

  • Reuter Ora J. & Remington Thomas F. “Dominant Party Regimes and the Commitment Problem: The Case of United Russia” Comparative Political Studies 2009 42 4 501 526

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roberts Kenneth M. & Wibbels Erik “Party Systems and Electoral Volatility in Latin America: A Test of Economic, Institutional, and Structural Explanations” American Political Science Review 1999 93 3 575 590

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roniger Luis “Political Clientelism, Democracy, and Market Economy” Comparative Politics 2004 36 3 353 375

  • Schedler Andreas “The Nested Game of Democratization by Elections” International Political Science Review 2002a 23 1 103 122

  • Schedler Andreas “Elections Without Democracy: The Menu of Manipulation” Journal of Democracy 2002b 13 2 36 50

  • Schedler Andreas Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition 2006 Boulder, CO Lynne Rienner

  • Scott James C. “Patron-Client Politics and Political Change in Southeast Asia” American Political Science Review 1972 66 1 91 113

  • Shefter Martin Political Parties and the State: The American Historical Experience 1994 Princeton Princeton University Press

  • Sikk Allan “How Unstable? Volatility and the Genuinely New Parties in Eastern Europe” European Journal of Political Research 2005 44 3 391 412

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simpser Alberto Alvarez Michael, Hall Thad E. & Hyde Susan D. “Unintended Consequences of Election Monitoring” Election Fraud: Detecting and Preventing Electoral Manipulation 2008 Washington, DC Brookings Institution 216 234

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stokes Donald E. Chambers William N. & Burnham Walter D. “Parties and the Nationalization of Electoral Forces” The American Party Systems: States of Political Development 1967 New York Oxford University Press 182 202

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stokes Susan C., Dunning Thad, Nazareno Marcelo & Brusco Valeria Brokers, Voters, and Clientelism: The Puzzle of Distributive Politics 2013 New York Cambridge University Press

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tavits Margit “The Development of Stable Party Support: Electoral Dynamics in Post-Communist Europe” American Journal of Political Science 2005 49 2 283 298

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tavits Margit “On the Linkage between Electoral Volatility and Party System Instability in Central and Eastern Europe” European Journal of Political Research 2008 47 5 537 555

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tezcur Günes M. Lust-Okar Ellen & Zerhouni Saloua “Intra-elite Struggles in Iranian Elections” Political Participation in the Middle East and North Africa 2008 Boulder, CO Lynne Rienner 51 74

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tóka Gabor “Party Appeals and Voter Loyalty in New Democracies” Political Studies 1998 46 3 589 610

  • Tóka Gabor & Gosselin Tania “Persistent Political Divides, Electoral Volatility and Citizen Involvement: The Freezing Hypothesis in the 2004 European Election” West European Politics 2010 33 3 608 633

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • United Nations Statistics Division UNdata 2015 Retrieved March 13, 2015 (http://data.un.org).

  • Wahman Michael “Democratization and Electoral Turnovers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond” Democratization 2014 21 2 220 243

  • Weingast Barry R. “Second Generation Fiscal Federalism: Political Aspects of Decentralization and Economic Development” World Development 2014 53 14 25

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zavadskaya Margarita & Welzel Christian “Subverting Autocracy: Emancipative Mass Values in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes” Democratization 2015 22 6 1105 1130

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhong Yang & Chen Jie “To Vote or not to Vote: An Analysis of Peasants’ Participation in Chinese Village Elections.” Comparative Political Studies 2002 35 6 686 712

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 501 183 26
Full Text Views 200 12 0
PDF Views & Downloads 25 7 0