Tea Leaf Elections: Inferring Purpose for Authoritarian Elections from Postelection Responses to Defeats

  title={Tea Leaf Elections: Inferring Purpose for Authoritarian Elections from Postelection Responses to Defeats},
  author={Minh Trinh},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={2140 - 2155}
  • Minh Trinh
  • Published 14 April 2022
  • Political Science
  • The Journal of Politics
The power of authoritarian elections is not unlimited. When using elections as a source of information, authoritarian regimes may not be able to collect from a single election all the information it could theoretically provide, and so they must commit to seeking only some specific signal(s) in each election. It is possible to identify the type of information each regime seeks from its elections by studying its reactions to small but unexpected defeats. Applying this logic to Vietnam, I find… 



Star Search: Do Elections Help Nondemocratic Regimes Identify New Leaders?

A commonly proffered theory to explain the use of elections in authoritarian regimes is that they help identify talented young leaders who can be groomed for leadership positions. Unfortunately, due

Elections, Information, and Policy Responsiveness in Autocratic Regimes

The responsiveness of policy to election results is a central component of democracy. Do the outcomes of autocratic elections also affect policy choice? Even when the threat of turnover is low, I

Authoritarian Elections and Leadership Succession, 1975-2004

Why do non-democratic regimes hold elections they might lose? In this paper, I develop a model in which authoritarian rulers agree to positive levels of electoral risk primarily to gain information

Are non-competitive elections good for citizens?

Many regimes, particularly autocracies, hold elections where the ruling regime’s victory is a foregone conclusion. This paper provides a formal analysis of how these non-competitive elections affect

Office Insecurity and Electoral Manipulation

Why do governments manipulate elections at varying levels? This paper argues that variation in electoral manipulation can in part be explained by the fundamental trade-off between an incumbent’s

Behind the Facade: Elections under Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia

Behind the Facade examines the question of why authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia bother holding elections. Using comprehensive case studies of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Singapore, Lee Morgenbesser

Elections and Political Regimes

  • J. Gandhi
  • Political Science
    Government and Opposition
  • 2015
Post-Cold War autocracies appear novel in their use of multiparty elections, attracting the attention of scholars and policymakers alike. A longer historical view, however, reveals that what is

Manipulating electoral laws in Singapore

Deliver the Vote! Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Electoral Fraud

Most electoral fraud is not conducted centrally by incumbents but rather locally by a multitude of political operatives. How does an incumbent ensure that his agents deliver fraud when needed and as

Paint-by-Numbers Democracy: The Stakes, Structure, and Results of the 2007 Vietnamese National Assembly Election

The 2007 National Assembly (NA) election in Vietnam inspired the imagination of observers. New electoral procedures boded well for increased competition and representation. This article probes this