Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times
We use new data on coup d’états and elections to document a striking development: whereas the vast majority of successful coups before 1991 installed durable rules, the majority of coups after that have been followed by competitive elections. We argue that after the Cold War international pressure influenced the consequences of coups. In the post-Cold War era those countries that are most dependent on Western aid have been the first to embrace competitive elections after the coup. Our theory also sheds light on the pronounced decline in the number of coups since 1991.
National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy
Principal Investigators: Susan Hyde and Nikolay Marinov
On August 4th, 2015, we released an update to the National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy (NELDA) dataset. The data covers national elections from 1945-2012 in all countries except for micro-states (which are coming soon). A number of corrections are also incorporated into the Version 4 release, so please consider using the updated data even if you do not require the full time range in your research.
How, if at all, do nondemocratic elections affect credible signaling in international crises? While the literature on credible signaling emphasizes the importance of electoral competition, it does not specify the minimal conditions that elections must satisfy in order to enhance the credibility of threats. We address this oversight by focusing on two fundamental properties of electoral institutions: (1) the degree of proincumbent bias and (2) the vulnerability of the incumbent to a de facto loss of power following an opposition victory.