Formal Models of Nondemocratic Politics

Posted: 13 May 2016

See all articles by Scott Gehlbach

Scott Gehlbach

University of Chicago

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Milan Svolik

Yale University - Department of Political Science

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Date Written: May 2016

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, and 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.

Suggested Citation

Gehlbach, Scott and Sonin, Konstantin and Svolik, Milan, Formal Models of Nondemocratic Politics (May 2016). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 19, pp. 565-584, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2779528 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-042114-014927

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( 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)

London
United Kingdom

Milan Svolik

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

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