The Structure of the Executive in Authoritarian and Democratic Regimes: Regime Dimensions Across the Globe, 1900-2014
35 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015 Last revised: 24 May 2016
Date Written: April 1, 2015
This paper attempts to integrate the literatures on authoritarian regime types and democratic forms of government. Based on different modes of executive appointment and dismissal, we propose a parsimonious theory of five regime dimensions that cut across the democracy/autocracy divide: the hereditary principle; the military principle; the ruling party principle; the presidential and the parliamentary principles, respectively. Relying on the Varieties of Democracy data, we provide alternative measures of these five regime dimensions for 173 countries across the globe from 1900 to today. A plausibility probe gauges the extent to which the five dimensions can predict the level of repression, rent-seeking and spending on public goods across space and time, controlling for the degree of democracy. We conclude by suggesting several avenues for future research that can be pursued with these data.
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