Personalization of Power and Repression in Dictatorships

  title={Personalization of Power and Repression in Dictatorships},
  author={Erica Frantz and Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Joseph G Wright and Xu Xu},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={372 - 377}
This article uses new data measuring gradations of personalism in authoritarian regimes to evaluate the relationship between concentration of power and patterns of repression. It shows that the personalization of power in dictatorships leads to an increase in repression and, thus, a decrease in respect for human rights. Given the rise in personalism we are witnessing globally, the findings of this study imply that repression is likely to become more prevalent in dictatorships as a consequence. 
Thin-skinned leaders: regime legitimation, protest issues, and repression in autocracies
Abstract The literature on autocracies has argued that repression of protest is either a result of the political environment in which protest occurs, or depends on particular characteristics of the
Power Sharing and Media Freedom in Dictatorships
ABSTRACT This article investigates the relationship between elite power sharing and media freedom in dictatorships. While conventional wisdom posits that dictators have a strong incentive to control
Dictators, personalized security forces, and coups
  • Wonjun Song
  • Political Science
    International Interactions
  • 2022
ABSTRACT Dictators rely on coercive forces to remain in office, as violence is the ultimate arbiter of power in these regimes. However, coercive forces also can remove the dictator from office in a
The Process of Democratic Breakdown: Controlling Information While Evading Term Limits
Politicians often erode democratic institutions to consolidate their personal power through acts like term limit evasions. Violations of fundamental constitutional arrangements, so-called “bright
In the Shadows of Great Men: Leadership Turnovers and Power Dynamics in Autocracies
Political leaders differ considerably in the degree to which they consolidate power, but what gives rise to these variations still remains under-theorized. This article studies how informal political
Sudan's Uprising: The Fall of a Dictator
Abstract:This article traces the reign and downfall of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s longtime autocrat. Like other autocrats, al-Bashir attempted to prevent coups against his rule by crafting a
The Effects of Autocratic Characteristics on Public Opinion toward Democracy Promotion Policies: A Conjoint Analysis
Does the level of public support for democracy promotion policies vary with the characteristics of potential autocratic targets? We conduct an experimental study with a conjoint design on a sample
Reshaping the Threat Environment: Personalism, Coups, and Assassinations
Dictators shape regime structures to counter the threats they face. Personalization entails the progressive accumulation of power in the hands of the dictator to minimize internal threats from
Does Ethnic Inequality Increase State Repression?
Abstract We argue that economic inequality between ethnic groups increases state repression. We contend that a high level of ethnic inequality fuels distributional conflicts between poor and rich
Strategic Uncertainty and Elite Defections in Electoral Autocracies: A Cross-National Analysis
  • A. D. Río
  • Political Science
    Comparative Political Studies
  • 2022
Defections within the ruling elite often endanger authoritarian rule, emboldening opposition groups and paving the way for regime breakdown. Yet, the consequences of elite defections are better


Repression, political threats, and survival under autocracy:
Dictatorships are generally characterized by their use of repression, which is higher than that of democratic systems. Repression is, jointly with the mobilizing of some political support, one of the
How Dictatorships Work: Power, Personalization, and Collapse
This accessible volume shines a light on how autocracy really works by providing basic facts about how post-World War II dictatorships achieve, retain, and lose power. The authors present an
Pathways from Authoritarianism
This paper uses a new typology of authoritarian regimes to explore the extent to which regime type explains the survival (and breakdown) of non-democratic regimes as well as the impact of different
A dictator’s toolkit
A dictator’s motivation for using repression is fairly clear, but why some repress more than others or favor particular types of repressive strategies is less obvious. Using statistical analysis,
Policy Disputes, Political Survival, and the Onset and Severity of State Repression
Under what conditions will a state repress its citizens? The literature examining human rights violations lacks consensus over exactly how repression and dissent are interrelated. I argue that
An Empirical Evaluation of Explanations for State Repression
The empirical literature that examines cross-national patterns of state repression seeks to discover a set of political, economic, and social conditions that are consistently associated with
State Repression and the Tyrannical Peace
Existing literature on state repression generally ignores the diversity that exists within autocracies. At present, different political systems are collapsed together, leaving unique approaches to
The political economy of dictatorship
Although much of the world still lives today, as always, under dictatorship, the behaviour of these regimes and of their leaders often appears irrational and mysterious. In The Political Economy of
State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace
Figures Tables Preface Introduction 1. Repression and the search for peace 2. Disaggregation and contextualization 3. Data and methodology 4. Democratic pacification: the direct effects of voice and
The Global Rise of Personalized Politics: It's Not Just Dictators Anymore
No one would dispute that power in Russia today lies firmly in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. But his command over the political system was not always so sweeping. When Putin assumed power ...