Ousting Autocrats: The Political Economy of Competitive Authoritarianism


Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


124 Mount Auburn, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Why Dominant Parties Lose bookKenneth Greene, University of Texas, Austin

About the Seminar
Why do incumbents in competitive authoritarian regimes continue to win elections or lose power? Employing a time-series cross-national analysis of election outcomes, Professor Kenneth Greene will show that autocratic incumbents or their parties endure despite poor economic performance, economic modernization, and trade openness. Instead, he will demonstrate that incumbents in competitive authoritarian regimes that permit meaningful electoral competition persist in power if they can create partisan advantages by politicizing public resources. Conversely, such regimes meet their doom when privatizations put the state’s fiscal power out of their reach. His argument has implications for the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes, transitions to democracy in hybrid systems, and the study of incumbency advantages and electoral fairness in comparative politics.

About the Speaker
Kenneth Greene is an associate professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also currently serves as undergraduate honors thesis advisor.

His research focuses on authoritarian regimes, democratization, political parties, elections, and voting behavior. His book, Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico’s Democratization in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2007 hardback and 2009 paperback), offers a new theory of single-party dominance based on the party affiliation decisions of individual politicians. It was awarded the 2008 Best Book Award from the Comparative Democratization Section of the APSA.

Currently, he is principal investigator on the Mexico Clientelism Study. Recent survey work includes the Mexico 2006 Panel Study and the Mexico 2006 Candidate and Party Elite Survey. He has published work in World Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, PS: Political Science and Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Politica y Gobierno, Foreign Affairs en Español, and book chapters.