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Why Do Military Dictatorships Become Presidential Democracies? Mapping the Democratic Interests of Autocratic Regimes

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Abstract

This paper starts with the observation that almost all military dictatorships that democratize become presidential democracies. I hypothesize that military interests are able to coordinate on status-preserving institutional change prior to democratization and therefore prefer political institutions with strong veto players. Parallel civilian interests conversely suffer from coordination failure by being more diverse and les cohesive. The hypothesis therefore implies that most military democratizations are partially planned while most democratization events from civilian autocracy are either unforeseen or poorly planned. Exploring the characteristics of 111 democratization episodes between 1950 and 2015, I find a number of features broadly consistent with further theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjørnskov, Christian, 2017. "Why Do Military Dictatorships Become Presidential Democracies? Mapping the Democratic Interests of Autocratic Regimes," Working Paper Series 1194, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1194
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "A Theory of Military Dictatorships," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42, January.
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    10. José Cheibub & Jennifer Gandhi & James Vreeland, 2010. "Democracy and dictatorship revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 67-101, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictatorship; Democracy; Political institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • K16 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Election Law
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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