Patterns of Regime Breakdown Since the French Revolution

90 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Vilde Lunnan Djuve

Vilde Lunnan Djuve

Aarhus University

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Tore Wig

University of Oslo

Date Written: June 2018


We present a new dataset comprising more than 1900 regimes in 197 polities over the time period 1789-2016. We use this dataset to describe dierent historical patterns of regime duration globally, leveraging ne-grained measures on when regimes started and ended and a nuanced scheme of dierent modes of regime breakdown. To mention a few patterns, we display how the frequency of regime breakdown, and particular modes of breakdown, have followed cyclical rather than linear patterns across modern history and that the most common modes, overall, are coups d'etat and incumbent-guided transformations of regimes. Further, we evaluate whether selected economic and political-institutional features are systematically associated with breakdown. We nd robust evidence that low income levels, slow or negative economic growth, and having intermediate levels of democracy predict higher chances of regime breakdown, although these factors are more clearly related to regime breakdown during some periods of modern history than others. When disaggregating dierent models of breakdown, we nd notable dierences for these predictors, with low income levels, for example, being strongly related to regime breakdowns due to popular uprisings, whereas intermediate levels of democracy clearly predict regime breakdowns due to coups and incumbent-guided regime transitions.

Suggested Citation

Djuve, Vilde Lunnan and Knutsen, Carl Henrik and Wig, Tore, Patterns of Regime Breakdown Since the French Revolution (June 2018). V-Dem Working Paper 2018:69, Available at SSRN: or

Vilde Lunnan Djuve (Contact Author)

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus, 8000

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Moltke Moesvei 31
Olso, 0851

Tore Wig

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317

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