'All’s well that ends well' : the strategy of electoral (mis)behavior in competitive-authoritarian regimes
Title: 'All’s well that ends well' : the strategy of electoral (mis)behavior in competitive-authoritarian regimes
Author: LEVIN, Ines
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2013/02
In competitive authoritarian regimes, formal democratic institutions and periodic elections are sponsored by the authoritarian ruler, but voting outcomes are sometimes manipulated to prevent government turnover. In this paper, I investigate the conditions under which a unified opposition might decide to challenge the official election outcome, the conditions under which the authoritarian incumbent might find it profitable to manipulate the election outcome, as well as the conditions under which voters might decide to vote strategically for their least-preferred alternative in order to help avoid a costly post-electoral conflict. I find that the incumbent's decision about whether to commit fraud or acknowledge the true election outcome, as well as the opposition's decision about whether to contest or accept official election results, depends on the opposition's knowledge about the occurrence of fraud, as well as on the likelihood of successful collective action against the regime. Fears of post electoral violence may lead incumbent or opposition supporters to vote strategically for their least preferred alternative, and the probability that they do so depends on their expectations about the opposition's reaction to official election results.
Subject: Voter fraud; Electoral violence; Competitive authoritarianism; Strategic voting; Game theory
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess