Why Do Military Dictatorships Become Presidential Democracies? Mapping the Democratic Interests of Autocratic Regimes

39 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: December 15, 2017

Abstract

This paper starts with the observation that almost all military dictatorships that democratize become presidential democracies. I hypothesize that military interests are able to coordinate on status-preserving institutional change prior to democratization and therefore prefer political institutions with strong veto players. Parallel civilian interests conversely suffer from coordination failure by being more diverse and les cohesive. The hypothesis therefore implies that most military democratizations are partially planned while most democratization events from civilian autocracy are either unforeseen or poorly planned. Exploring the characteristics of 111 democratization episodes between 1950 and 2015, I find a number of features broadly consistent with further theoretical predictions.

Keywords: dictatorship, democracy, political institutions

JEL Classification: P16, D72, D74, K16

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian, Why Do Military Dictatorships Become Presidential Democracies? Mapping the Democratic Interests of Autocratic Regimes (December 15, 2017). IFN Working Paper No. 1194, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3088480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3088480

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
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Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

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Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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