Strategic logic of elite purges in dictatorships

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Why do some leaders eliminate rivals from authoritarian regimes and therefore diminish elites' capabilities to remove them via coups, while others do not? By examining both dictators' incentives and opportunities to weaken regime elites, I show that dictators are more likely to eliminate rivals when elites' capabilities to oust dictators via coup is temporarily low. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, my theory predicts that dictators are more likely to weaken elites' capabilities as the threat of coup decreases rather than when coup risk is high. Furthermore, I argue that successful coups that put new dictators in power temporarily diminish elites' capabilities to remove dictators and, thus, provide a window of opportunity for the dictators to take steps to consolidate power. Empirical results using a new dataset on purges of militaries from 1969 to 2003 provide strong evidence for my hypotheses.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-39
Number of pages39
JournalComparative Political Studies
Early online date2 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

dictatorship
elite
regime
incentive
Military
threat
leader
evidence

Keywords

  • coup
  • authoritarian regime
  • dictatorship
  • elite purge

Cite this

@article{3cb7dca5191b465c8f83b700b77a074e,
title = "Strategic logic of elite purges in dictatorships",
abstract = "Why do some leaders eliminate rivals from authoritarian regimes and therefore diminish elites' capabilities to remove them via coups, while others do not? By examining both dictators' incentives and opportunities to weaken regime elites, I show that dictators are more likely to eliminate rivals when elites' capabilities to oust dictators via coup is temporarily low. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, my theory predicts that dictators are more likely to weaken elites' capabilities as the threat of coup decreases rather than when coup risk is high. Furthermore, I argue that successful coups that put new dictators in power temporarily diminish elites' capabilities to remove dictators and, thus, provide a window of opportunity for the dictators to take steps to consolidate power. Empirical results using a new dataset on purges of militaries from 1969 to 2003 provide strong evidence for my hypotheses.",
keywords = "coup, authoritarian regime, dictatorship, elite purge",
author = "Jun Sudduth",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1177/0010414016688004",
language = "English",
pages = "1--39",
journal = "Comparative Political Studies",
issn = "0010-4140",

}

Strategic logic of elite purges in dictatorships. / Sudduth, Jun.

In: Comparative Political Studies, 02.02.2017, p. 1-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Strategic logic of elite purges in dictatorships

AU - Sudduth, Jun

PY - 2017/2/2

Y1 - 2017/2/2

N2 - Why do some leaders eliminate rivals from authoritarian regimes and therefore diminish elites' capabilities to remove them via coups, while others do not? By examining both dictators' incentives and opportunities to weaken regime elites, I show that dictators are more likely to eliminate rivals when elites' capabilities to oust dictators via coup is temporarily low. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, my theory predicts that dictators are more likely to weaken elites' capabilities as the threat of coup decreases rather than when coup risk is high. Furthermore, I argue that successful coups that put new dictators in power temporarily diminish elites' capabilities to remove dictators and, thus, provide a window of opportunity for the dictators to take steps to consolidate power. Empirical results using a new dataset on purges of militaries from 1969 to 2003 provide strong evidence for my hypotheses.

AB - Why do some leaders eliminate rivals from authoritarian regimes and therefore diminish elites' capabilities to remove them via coups, while others do not? By examining both dictators' incentives and opportunities to weaken regime elites, I show that dictators are more likely to eliminate rivals when elites' capabilities to oust dictators via coup is temporarily low. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, my theory predicts that dictators are more likely to weaken elites' capabilities as the threat of coup decreases rather than when coup risk is high. Furthermore, I argue that successful coups that put new dictators in power temporarily diminish elites' capabilities to remove dictators and, thus, provide a window of opportunity for the dictators to take steps to consolidate power. Empirical results using a new dataset on purges of militaries from 1969 to 2003 provide strong evidence for my hypotheses.

KW - coup

KW - authoritarian regime

KW - dictatorship

KW - elite purge

UR - http://cps.sagepub.com

U2 - 10.1177/0010414016688004

DO - 10.1177/0010414016688004

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 39

JO - Comparative Political Studies

T2 - Comparative Political Studies

JF - Comparative Political Studies

SN - 0010-4140

ER -