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How Autocrats Compete
Parties, Patrons, and Unfair Elections in Africa

$125.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108474764

$ 125.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Most autocrats now hold unfair elections, yet how they compete in them and manipulate them differs greatly. How Autocrats Compete advances a theory that explains variation in electoral authoritarian competition. Using case studies of Tanzania, Cameroon, and Kenya, along with broader comparisons from Africa, it finds that the kind of relationships autocrats foster with supporters and external actors matters greatly during elections. When autocrats can depend on credible ruling parties that provide elites with a level playing field and commit to wider constituencies, they are more certain in their own support and can compete in elections with less manipulation. Shelter from international pressure further helps autocrats deploy a wider range of coercive tools when necessary. Combining in-depth field research, within-case statistics, and cross-regional comparisons, Morse fills a gap in the literature by focusing on important variation in authoritarian institution building and international patronage. Understanding how autocrats compete sheds light on the comparative resilience and durability of modern authoritarianism.

    • Proposes a new theory of electoral authoritarian competition
    • Provides new insights into unfair elections in Africa
    • Uses in-depth case-based methods along with cross-national comparisons and within-case statistics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Why do some authoritarian regimes enjoy genuine electoral support, while others resort to electoral manipulation and repression to stay in power? In this sophisticated analysis of contemporary authoritarian regimes, Yonatan L. Morse attributes variation in autocrats' electoral strategies to both the legacies of institution building and to the nature of international patronage. Morse's account is rich in nuance and firmly rooted in African politics, yet provides generalizable lessons that will be of interest to scholars of comparative politics and international relations alike.' Daniela Donno, University of Pittsburgh

    ‘Yonatan L. Morse's book is an excellent contribution to the study of electoral authoritarian regimes. Grounded in a deep knowledge of contrasting cases such as Cameroon and Tanzania, the book focuses on the internal workings of ruling parties to provide new insights on how autocrats manage to hold onto power in some countries without having to resort to violence and fraud during elections.' Leonardo R. Arriola, Director of the Center for African Studies, University of California, Berkeley

    ‘This ambitious, imaginative and well written book has a great deal to tell us about how authoritarians give themselves an unfair electoral advantage - and so keep themselves in power - in Africa. We need to understand that authoritarians have gone from refusing to hold elections to finding new ways to rig them, and this book provides essential insights about how and why this has happened.' Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham and author of How to Rig an Election

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108474764
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 155 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The puzzle of electoral authoritarian competition
    2. Ruling parties, international patrons, and electoral authoritarian competition
    3. Electoral authoritarian competition and the African experience
    4. The origins and structure of ruling parties in Tanzania, Cameroon, and Kenya
    5. Ruling party credibility and the management of elite competition
    6. Ruling party credibility and the sources of voter support
    7. The electoral consequences of international patronage
    8. Authoritarian competition in Africa's former single-party regimes
    Conclusions. The comparative study of electoral authoritarianism
    Appendix I. Electoral authoritarian competition in Africa
    Appendix II. Typological theory coding and scores.

  • Author

    Yonatan L. Morse, University of Connecticut
    Yonatan L. Morse is Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of articles on democracy, authoritarianism, and African politics that have appeared in the journals World Politics, Comparative Politics, Democratization, Qualitative Research, and International Political Science Review. His dissertation was awarded the Harold N. Glassman Award in Social Sciences from Georgetown University. He has also consulted for various government institutions and written for the Washington Post and the blog Presidential Power.

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