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Values, Repression, and Subversion: Incumbent Defeat in Competitive Autocracies

34 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013  

Margarita Zavadskaya

European University Institute

Christian Welzel

Jacobs University

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Competitive elections in authoritarian regimes is inherently ambiguous: do they extend regime persistence or, vice versa, operate as subversive events? This article tests Inglehart and Welzel’s ‘emancipative theory of democracy,’ which has not been tested for competitive elections in autocracies: when emancipative values grow strong, autocratic power appears increasingly illegitimate in people’s eyes, which motivates subversive mass actions against autocratic rule. For electoral outcomes this suggestion implies, firstly, that authoritarian incumbents are more likely to suffer electoral defeat when emancipative values have become more widespread. Secondly, that post-electoral protest is more likely when emancipative values have become more widespread. To test these hypotheses, we analyze one hundred-fifty elections among thirty-three competitive autocracies over twenty-one years from 1990 to 2011. We find that emancipative values are indeed strongly conducive to incumbent defeat while their effect on post-electoral protest is conditional: it only occurs in elections won by the incumbent.

Keywords: emancipative values, repression, competitive authoritarianism, elections, protest

Suggested Citation

Zavadskaya, Margarita and Welzel, Christian, Values, Repression, and Subversion: Incumbent Defeat in Competitive Autocracies (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2301352

Margarita Zavadskaya (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

No Address Available, Tuscany

Christian Welzel

Jacobs University ( email )

Campus Ring 1
Research V, Room 40
Bremen, 28759
Germany
+49 421 2003461 (Phone)
+49 421 200493461 (Fax)

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