The rise predicts the fall: how the method of leader entry affects the method of leader removal in dictatorships

Jun Koga Sudduth, Curtis Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How does the way a non-democratic leader takes power affect the stability of her government? Prior research identifies irregular leader entries—those violating the regime's norms for leader selection—to be especially likely to foreshadow subsequent unconstitutional transitions. This paper shows how some forms of irregular leader entry can actually protect leaders from most threats of forced removal from power. When leaders use a strong and loyal coalition of supporters to overthrow their predecessors and their entire ruling regimes, as they do in successful rebellions, popular uprisings, and major regime changing coups, they explicitly prove their strength to any potential rivals. These leaders are substantially less likely to be ousted than leaders who take power in ways that do not convey strength so convincingly, such as normal succession and elite reshuffling. We analyze an original dataset of non democratic leader transitions and show that accounting for the strength demonstrated during a leader’s entry to power substantially improves our ability to predict how and when the leader will eventually leave office.
LanguageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Early online date14 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

dictatorship
leader
regime
popular uprising
coalition
elite
threat

Keywords

  • dictatorships
  • political leaders
  • non-democratic
  • removal from power
  • coups
  • irregular regime replacement
  • irregular regime reorganization

Cite this

@article{846bb722e4834b20b3758fa3a7fdee97,
title = "The rise predicts the fall: how the method of leader entry affects the method of leader removal in dictatorships",
abstract = "How does the way a non-democratic leader takes power affect the stability of her government? Prior research identifies irregular leader entries—those violating the regime's norms for leader selection—to be especially likely to foreshadow subsequent unconstitutional transitions. This paper shows how some forms of irregular leader entry can actually protect leaders from most threats of forced removal from power. When leaders use a strong and loyal coalition of supporters to overthrow their predecessors and their entire ruling regimes, as they do in successful rebellions, popular uprisings, and major regime changing coups, they explicitly prove their strength to any potential rivals. These leaders are substantially less likely to be ousted than leaders who take power in ways that do not convey strength so convincingly, such as normal succession and elite reshuffling. We analyze an original dataset of non democratic leader transitions and show that accounting for the strength demonstrated during a leader’s entry to power substantially improves our ability to predict how and when the leader will eventually leave office.",
keywords = "dictatorships, political leaders, non-democratic, removal from power, coups, irregular regime replacement, irregular regime reorganization",
author = "Sudduth, {Jun Koga} and Curtis Bell",
note = "This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in International Studies Quarterly following peer review.",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "14",
doi = "10.1093/isq/sqx075",
language = "English",
journal = "International Studies Quarterly",
issn = "0020-8833",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The rise predicts the fall

T2 - International Studies Quarterly

AU - Sudduth, Jun Koga

AU - Bell, Curtis

N1 - This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in International Studies Quarterly following peer review.

PY - 2018/3/14

Y1 - 2018/3/14

N2 - How does the way a non-democratic leader takes power affect the stability of her government? Prior research identifies irregular leader entries—those violating the regime's norms for leader selection—to be especially likely to foreshadow subsequent unconstitutional transitions. This paper shows how some forms of irregular leader entry can actually protect leaders from most threats of forced removal from power. When leaders use a strong and loyal coalition of supporters to overthrow their predecessors and their entire ruling regimes, as they do in successful rebellions, popular uprisings, and major regime changing coups, they explicitly prove their strength to any potential rivals. These leaders are substantially less likely to be ousted than leaders who take power in ways that do not convey strength so convincingly, such as normal succession and elite reshuffling. We analyze an original dataset of non democratic leader transitions and show that accounting for the strength demonstrated during a leader’s entry to power substantially improves our ability to predict how and when the leader will eventually leave office.

AB - How does the way a non-democratic leader takes power affect the stability of her government? Prior research identifies irregular leader entries—those violating the regime's norms for leader selection—to be especially likely to foreshadow subsequent unconstitutional transitions. This paper shows how some forms of irregular leader entry can actually protect leaders from most threats of forced removal from power. When leaders use a strong and loyal coalition of supporters to overthrow their predecessors and their entire ruling regimes, as they do in successful rebellions, popular uprisings, and major regime changing coups, they explicitly prove their strength to any potential rivals. These leaders are substantially less likely to be ousted than leaders who take power in ways that do not convey strength so convincingly, such as normal succession and elite reshuffling. We analyze an original dataset of non democratic leader transitions and show that accounting for the strength demonstrated during a leader’s entry to power substantially improves our ability to predict how and when the leader will eventually leave office.

KW - dictatorships

KW - political leaders

KW - non-democratic

KW - removal from power

KW - coups

KW - irregular regime replacement

KW - irregular regime reorganization

UR - https://academic.oup.com/isq

U2 - 10.1093/isq/sqx075

DO - 10.1093/isq/sqx075

M3 - Article

JO - International Studies Quarterly

JF - International Studies Quarterly

SN - 0020-8833

ER -