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Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival$
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Abel Escribà-Folch and Joseph Wright

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746997.001.0001

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Autocratic Regimes and their Collapse

Autocratic Regimes and their Collapse

Chapter:
(p.28) 2 Autocratic Regimes and their Collapse
Source:
Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival
Author(s):

Abel Escribà-Folch

Joseph Wright

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746997.003.0002

This chapter introduces the regime classification used throughout the book and describes the main characteristics of personalist, party-based, and military regimes. This classification is based on observable characteristics of the relationship between the autocratic leader, the military, and the support party (if it exists) to identify the group of elites that have effective control over policy decisions and political appointments. The chapter then explains why examining autocratic regime failure is more theoretically appropriate than looking at individual leader survival: in some regimes the regular replacement of leaders is an indicator of their organizational strength and stability. The chapter then defines regime change and introduces the two types of transitions that occur when autocratic regimes collapse: democratic transition and transition to a subsequent dictatorship. It is shown that coerced regime transitions usually result in a transition to a new dictatorship, while non-forced regime changes tend to lead to a democratic transition.

Keywords:   autocratic regimes, autocratic leaders, personalist, dominant party, military, regime change, democratic transition, autocratic transition

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