Electoral Responsiveness in Closed Autocracies: Evidence from Petitions in the former German Democratic Republic

  title={Electoral Responsiveness in Closed Autocracies: Evidence from Petitions in the former German Democratic Republic},
  author={Hans Lueders},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  • Hans Lueders
  • Published 23 December 2021
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
Contested elections are usually seen as precondition for constituent responsiveness. By contrast, I show that even uncontested elections can create incentives for autocratic regimes to address citizen demands. I propose that closed autocracies engage in cycles of responsiveness before uncontested elections to assure citizens of their competence and raise popular support. They do so to mitigate the short-term destabilizing effects of elections. Analyzing a unique dataset of petitions to the… 


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