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Generals, Dictators, and Kings

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  • Hanne Fjelde

    (Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University and Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

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    Abstract

    Recent years have seen a surge of literature examining how political institutions influence the risk of civil conflict. A comparatively neglected aspect of this debate has been the heterogeneous impact of different forms of authoritarianism. In this article, I theoretically and empirically unpack the authoritarian regime category. I argue that authoritarian regimes differ both in their capacity to forcefully control opposition and in their ability to co-opt their rivals through offers of power positions and rents. Authoritarian regimes thus exhibit predictable differences in their ability to avoid organized violent challenges to their authority. I examine the association between four types of authoritarian regimes—military, monarchy, single-party, and multi-party electoral autocracies—and the onset of civil conflict from 1973 to 2004. I find that military regimes and multi-party electoral autocracies run a higher risk of armed conflict than single-party authoritarian regimes, which on the other hand seem to have an institutional set-up that makes them particularly resilient to armed challenges to their authority. These findings suggest that the emerging view, that political institutions are not a significant determinant of civil conflict, results from treating a heterogeneous set of authoritarian regimes as homogenous.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Conflict Management and Peace Science.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 195-218

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:3:p:195-218

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    Web page: http://pss.la.psu.edu/

    Related research

    Keywords: authoritarian regimes; autocracy; civil conflict; civil war; democratic civil peace; political institutions; regime type;

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    Cited by:
    1. Caruso, Raul & Petrarca , Ilaria & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2013. "Is there a Diffusion of Military Regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa? Empirical Evidence in the Period 1972-2007," NEPS Working Papers 4/2013, Network of European Peace Scientists.
    2. Vincenzo Bove & Jennifer Brauner, 2011. "The Demand for Military Expenditure in Authoritarian Regimes," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1106, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    3. Knutsen, Carl Henrik, 2013. "Democracy, State Capacity, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-18.

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