Dictatorship: Analytical Approaches

Ronald Wintrobe

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566020
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Dictatorship: Analytical Approaches

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This article provides a survey of the work on authoritarianism, which takes an ‘economic’ or rational choice approach. The survey focuses mainly on two issues: the behaviour of dictators and the comparison of their economic performance and redistributive tendencies with democracies. It outlines the author's model about the behaviour of dictators, and then moves on to more recent contributions, such as the important developments within the North framework. The article also examines the Olson model and then studies recent work on economic performance and on redistribution. Theory and evidence are the main focus of the discussion.

Keywords: authoritarianism; economic approach; rational choice approach; behaviour of dictators; economic performance; redistributive tendencies; North framework; Olson model

Article.  15323 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions

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