Legislatures, Cooptation, and Protest in Contemporary Authoritarian Regimes

41 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2013

See all articles by Graeme Robertson

Graeme Robertson

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Ora John Reuter

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Department of Political Science; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

A central claim of the new literature on authoritarianism is that legislatures extend the lifespan of authoritarian regimes. However, there is little theoretical examination or empirical confirmation of the wide range of possible mechanisms that might underpin this relationship. In this paper, we contribute both to the theory and the empirics of legislative cooptation under authoritarianism. We argue that legislative cooptation extends the longevity of authoritarian regimes by reducing anti-regime street protest. Legislatures reduce social protest by providing direct benefits to key opposition elites who demobilize their supporters and by drawing mobilizational resources into the political system and away from anti-system groups. We provide direct evidence for these mechanisms by examining legislative cooptation and social protest across Russia’s 83 regions.

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Graeme and Reuter, Ora John, Legislatures, Cooptation, and Protest in Contemporary Authoritarian Regimes (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2299089

Graeme Robertson (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
NC 27514

Ora John Reuter

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53211
United States

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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