Thesis of the month
Adrián del Río Rodríguez on Should I Stay, Or Should I Go? On the Determinants of Elite Defections in Electoral Autocracies.
Blatant dictatorships— in the form of monarchy, totalitarian or military rule—have largely disappeared. Nowadays, most authoritarian leaders exploit democratic institutions to cover their tyrannical rule. Yet, why would ruling elites defect when a dictator in electoral autocracies can threaten their lives and offer more rewards? In his thesis, Adrián del Río argues that aligning with the dictatorship offers significant advantages to politicians. However, being part of the ruling coalition can entail two high costs that motivate defection. To test his argument, Adrian develops a novel dataset on the political career of 15,019 legislators and ministers in 12 electoral autocracies. With this data, he employs a variety of quantitative analyses... View more