The use of democratic institutions as a strategy to legitimize authoritarian rule.

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Numerous authoritarian states use institutions usually associated with democratic regimes like a constitution, elections, and a legislature. This seems to be counterintuitive. Authoritarian regimes should rather shrink away from democratic institutions. Elections can be won by the opposition and legislatures can make decisions against the interests of the ruler. So, why do autocratic regimes install institutions which limit their power and threaten their survival in office? Assuming actors behave rationally, one should expect authoritarian rulers only to introduce procedures working in their favor. This study looks at the effect of institutions in authoritarian regimes. The findings suggest that legislatures significantly ... continued below

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Michalik, Susanne May 2007.

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  • Michalik, Susanne

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Numerous authoritarian states use institutions usually associated with democratic regimes like a constitution, elections, and a legislature. This seems to be counterintuitive. Authoritarian regimes should rather shrink away from democratic institutions. Elections can be won by the opposition and legislatures can make decisions against the interests of the ruler. So, why do autocratic regimes install institutions which limit their power and threaten their survival in office? Assuming actors behave rationally, one should expect authoritarian rulers only to introduce procedures working in their favor. This study looks at the effect of institutions in authoritarian regimes. The findings suggest that legislatures significantly lower the chances of regime breakdown in the long run. However, particularly in election years, authoritarian regimes are facing a higher likelihood of failure.

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  • May 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 10:02 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2008, 9:46 a.m.

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Michalik, Susanne. The use of democratic institutions as a strategy to legitimize authoritarian rule., thesis, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3639/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .