Mass Purges: Top-Down Accountability in Autocracy

  title={Mass Purges: Top-Down Accountability in Autocracy},
  author={B. Montagnes and Stephane Wolton},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={1045 - 1059}
This paper proposes a novel theoretical framework to study the features of mass purges in authoritarian regimes. We contend that mass purges are an instrument of top-down accountability meant to motivate and screen a multitude of agents (e.g., single-party members, state bureaucrats). We show that the set of purged agents is well delineated in mild purges, whereas no performance indicator is a guarantee of safety in violent purges. The proportion of purged agents is non-monotonic in the… Expand