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The Political Economy of Post-Communist Autocracy: The Continuum Between Dictatorship and Democracy


  • Radmilo Pesic
  • Branislav Boricic

    (University of Belgrade)


The article deals with the economic behaviour of a hypothetical political leader in the institutionally underdeveloped democratic environment of a transitional society. By using Stigler-PeltzmanÕs model of economic regulation, it has been shown that there is no optimal solution for an autocratic leader. In the long run, wealth transfer to political supporters alone is not sufficient for the autocrat to stay in power. ThatÕs why such regimes are generally unstable, and will ultimately be either overthrown or transformed into ÔhardÕ dictatorships. The marginal costs of regime protection and opposition, crucial for the political behaviour of conflicted social groups, can be considered as political turning points responsible for sudden and unexpected social changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Radmilo Pesic & Branislav Boricic, 2004. "The Political Economy of Post-Communist Autocracy: The Continuum Between Dictatorship and Democracy," European Political Economy Review, European Political Economy Infrastructure Consortium, vol. 2(Summer), pages 36-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:epe:journl:v:2:y:2004:i:summer:p:36-50

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    More about this item


    autocracy; economic regulation; post-communist transition;

    JEL classification:

    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General


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