The Choice of Electoral Systems in Electoral Autocracies

Eric C.C. Chang, Masaaki Higashijima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article develops a theory to account for the variation in electoral systems in electoral authoritarian regimes. We argue that resource-rich dictators are incentivized to employ proportional representation systems to alleviate the threat from the masses and pre-empt the emergence of new opposition, while resource-poor dictators tend to choose majoritarian systems to co-opt ruling elites in the legislature. Using cross-national data on electoral authoritarian regimes, we find strong empirical evidence supporting our theory. We also explicitly illustrate the causal links between natural resources and electoral systems with additional statistical analyses and comparative case studies on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • autocratic politics
  • elections
  • electoral manipulation
  • electoral system choice
  • natural resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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