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The Politics of UncertaintySustaining and Subverting Electoral Authoritarianism$
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Andreas Schedler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680320.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Politics of Uncertainty

Andreas Schedler

Oxford University Press

Electoral authoritarian regimes hold regular multiparty elections subject to severe and systematic manipulation. The Politics of Uncertainty analyzes their distinctive internal dynamics. Theoretically as well as empirically, it studies regime struggles between government and opposition under electoral authoritarian conditions. After tracing the global expansion of electoral authoritarianism since the end of the Cold War, the introductory chapter distinguishes between various perspectives on authoritarian elections. While some authors comprehend them as adornments and others as simple authoritarian instruments, this book conceives them as arenas of asymmetric conflict whose outcomes are contingent, dependent on the dynamics of conflict between government and opposition. The introduction describes this actor and election-centered approach as an instance of “political institutionalism” and situates it within the comparative literature on authoritarian regime dynamics.

Keywords:   authoritarian elections, authoritarian regimes, political economy, political sociology, political institutionalism

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