Delivering Stability—Primogeniture and Autocratic Survival in European Monarchies 1000–1800

@article{Kokkonen2014DeliveringSA,
  title={Delivering Stability—Primogeniture and Autocratic Survival in European Monarchies 1000–1800},
  author={Andrej Kokkonen and Anders Sundell},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  year={2014},
  volume={108},
  pages={438 - 453}
}
Building a strong autocratic state requires stability in ruler-elite relations. From this perspective the absence of a successor is problematic, as the elite have few incentives to remain loyal if the autocrat cannot reward them for their loyalty after his death. However, an appointed successor has both the capacity and the motive to challenge the autocrat. We argue that a succession based on primogeniture solves the dilemma, by providing the regime with a successor who can afford to wait to… 

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