The latent characteristics that structure autocratic rule

Research on autocratic regimes in comparative politics and international relations often uses categorical typologies of autocratic regimes to distinguish among different forms of autocracy. This paper introduces historical data on dozens of features of dictatorships to estimate latent dimensions of autocratic rule. We identify three time-varying dimensions of autocracy that correspond to ideal types proposed in the literature: Party dominance, military rule, and personalism. We show that dimensions of autocratic rule are orthogonal to commonly-used measures of democracy-autocracy, and compare these dimensions to existing typologies of autocracies, showing that time-varying information on personalism is unique. We discuss a measurement model of personalism and illustrate the time-varying features of this measure in applied research on conflict initiation and regime collapse.

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Work Title The latent characteristics that structure autocratic rule
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Open Access
Creators
  1. Joseph Wright
Keyword
  1. Comparative politics
  2. Developing countries
  3. International Relations
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Publisher
  1. Political Science Research and Methods
Publication Date November 28, 2019
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2019.50
Deposited July 19, 2022

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Version 1
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  • Created
  • Added PSRM-Wright-2020-Latent-Dimensions.pdf
  • Added Creator Joseph Wright
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    Keyword
    • Comparative politics, Developing countries, International Relations
    Publication Date
    • 2021-01-01
    • 2019-11-28
  • Updated