Popular Support for Democracy in Autocratic Regimes: A Micro-Level Analysis of Preferences
Scholarly opinions diverge as to which citizens in autocratic regimes actually prefer democracy to the status quo. While some argue that citizens with higher levels of socioeconomic status are more likely to prefer democracy because they desire political equality, others argue that the poor should prefer democracy most because they will have more relative power to affect redistributive policies. Analyzing public opinion data for tens of thousands of respondents living in autocracies around the world, we show that all types of citizens in authoritarian countries–rich and poor alike–prefer democracy to autocratic rule. Drawing on two case studies, we also show that political and economic factors are more likely to mobilize different types of people to protest for democracy.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2018
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- Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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