Economic Shocks and Authoritarian Stability: Russia, Iraq, and China

Dr. Victor C. Shih
(Ho Miu Lam Chair Professor in China and Pacific Relations, The University of California at San Diego)

The extant literature on authoritarian longevity focuses on static institutional features of authoritarian regimes.  By examining comparative cases of regimes in the middle of economic crises, this volume provides readers with the analytical tools for assessing the dynamic aspects of authoritarian survival.  We find that contrary to institutional and coalition theories, in order to survive economic shocks, authoritarian leaders time and again made the risky moves to alter their support coalitions.  This has implications for authoritarian survival in the future and in how democracies deal with authoritarian regimes.