Formal Models of Nondemocratic Politics

Annual Review of Political Science, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2015 Last revised: 25 Sep 2015

Scott Gehlbach

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Milan Svolik

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2015

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed growing interest among political scientists and economists in nondemocratic politics. This trend has been reflected in increasingly rigorous game-theoretic modeling of its various aspects: regime persistence and breakdown; ruling-coalition formation and leadership change; protests and repression; formal institutions and elections; censorship and media control. We review this research agenda, focusing on the foundational assumptions and political intuition behind key models. Our survey reveals a field populated by disparate models of particular mechanisms that nonetheless share two major analytical themes: asymmetries of information and commitment problems. We propose that future models move toward a genuinely comparative study of authoritarian institutions.

Keywords: nondemocratic politics, dictatorship, game theory

JEL Classification: D72, P16, C72

Suggested Citation

Gehlbach, Scott and Sonin, Konstantin and Svolik, Milan, Formal Models of Nondemocratic Politics (August 1, 2015). Annual Review of Political Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2660482

Scott Gehlbach

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-2391 (Phone)

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Milan Svolik (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

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