Authoritarian regimes and civil–military relations: Explaining counterbalancing in autocracies

  title={Authoritarian regimes and civil–military relations: Explaining counterbalancing in autocracies},
  author={Abel Escrib{\`a}-Folch and Tobias B{\"o}hmelt and Ulrich Pilster},
  journal={Conflict Management and Peace Science},
  pages={559 - 579}
How do autocracies structure their civil–military relations? We contend that personalist dictators are more strongly associated with counterbalancing than other authoritarian regime types. Personalists are characterized by weak institutions and narrow support bases, a lack of unifying ideologies and informal links to the ruler. They thus have strong incentives to coup-proof and, as we contend, counterbalancing seems particularly attractive. Quantitative analyses of autocratic regimes… 
6 Citations

Figures and Tables from this paper

Coup-proofing and political violence: the case of Iraq
Abstract This article examines the impact of coup-proofing on political violence while a leader is in power and during regime transition. This study focuses on the case of Iraq during Saddam
The colonial roots of structural coup-proofing
ABSTRACT Colonially inherited institutions are a key determinant of the regime type and economic outcomes of postcolonial countries. This study extends this claim to civil-military relations, arguing
Previous Military Rule and Democratic Survival
Existing scholarship shows that a history of military rule increases the risk of democratic breakdown. However, scholars overlook the fact that military rule takes two distinct forms: collegial and
The autonomy of the military profession as a condition for civil and democratic control of the military and the fulfillment of the main social role of the military
The interference of the military in politics in a state is indisputably disastrous for its democracy. However, even the "too tight grip" of civil control of the military can be dangerous for a
Post-2016 military restructuring in Turkey from the perspective of coup-proofing
This article focuses on the post-2016 military reforms and examines the meaning of civilian oversight and control that these reforms have brought. For almost two decades, the establishment of civil...


The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes
Authoritarian regimes that have their origins in revolution boast a much higher survival rate than other brands of authoritarianism. What accounts for the durability of these revolutionary regimes
Credible Power-Sharing and the Longevity of Authoritarian Rule
To survive in office, dictators need to establish power-sharing arrangements with their ruling coalitions, which are often not credible. If dictators cannot commit to not abusing their “loyal
Peaceful Parties and Puzzling Personalists
Reiter and Stam advance the study of the conflict behavior of authoritarian regimes in two ways. First, they clearly demonstrate the importance of using directed dyad data sets for studying mixed
Civil-Military Relations in Communist Systems: Western Models Revisited
Civil-military relations in Communist systems are crucial for our understanding of the military’s role and function in such political environments. Examining military establishments in democratic
Coup Risk, Counterbalancing, and International Conflict
Contrary to the literature on rallies-around-the-flag, this article argues that, in some circumstances, leaders may use international conflict to promote domestic divisiveness. More specifically, the
The Politics of Dictatorship: Institutions and Outcomes in Authoritarian Regimes
Erica Frantz and Natasha Ezrow argue that dictatorships are not regimes driven by the whims of a single individual, revealing how leader-elite relations are strongly influenced by the nature of the
Staying Quartered
This is a multination study of military disobedience in the face of presidential orders to suppress civilian uprisings. Rather than coercively manipulating the government or seizing power themselves,
The Enemy Within: Personal Rule, Coups, and Civil War in Africa
Why do rulers employ ethnic exclusion at the risk of civil war? Focusing on the region of sub-Saharan Africa, the author attributes this costly strategy to the commitment problem that arises in
Civil Wars, International Conflicts and Other Determinants of Paramilitary Strength in Sub-Saharan Africa
Previous research on African military spending suggests the existence of civil strife as the best predictor of high levels of military spending. However, little is known about why some African
Do Democracies Engage Less in Coup-Proofing? On the Relationship between Regime Type and Civil—Military Relations
The existing literature on military effectiveness established the robust claim that democracies are more successful and effective in winning interstate wars. One mechanism that explains this