Cities, Redistribution, and Authoritarian Regime Survival

Journal of Politics, pp. 1-14, 2013

14 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2012 Last revised: 1 Oct 2013

See all articles by Jeremy Wallace

Jeremy Wallace

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: October 27, 2011

Abstract

How does redistributive policy affect the survival of authoritarian regimes? I argue that redistributive policy in favor of cities, while a temporary measure reducing urban grievances, in the long-run undermines regime survival by inducing urban concentration. I test the argument using cross-national city population, urban bias, and non-democratic regime survival data in the post-WWII period. The results show that urban concentration is dangerous for dictators principally by promoting collective action, that urban bias induces urban concentration, and that urban bias represents a Faustian bargain with short-term benefits overwhelmed by long-term costs.

Keywords: authoritarian regimes, redistributive politics, cities, urban bias, development

Suggested Citation

Wallace, Jeremy, Cities, Redistribution, and Authoritarian Regime Survival (October 27, 2011). Journal of Politics, pp. 1-14, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1980989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1980989

Jeremy Wallace (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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