Why do Authoritarian Regimes Hold Elections?
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Elections have long been the pre-eminent method for selecting political authority around the world. In democratic regimes, they generally cultivate the element of consent by allowing citizens to choose their representatives in a free and fair electoral system. In authoritarian regimes, by contrast, elections rarely generate consent because both the process and outcome are fixed through the use of fraud, intimidation and violence. This means political authority seldom changes in spite of elections. While it is easy to dismiss authoritarian elections as shams, this is not a sufficient explanation for their existence. Nor does this explain why autocratic rulers sanction elections given the apparent disincentives, such as their cost, efficacy, risk and utility. Seeking to reveal the countervailing incentive(s), this dissertation investigates the following question: why do authoritarian regimes hold elections?
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Griffith Business School
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