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The Politics of UncertaintySustaining and Subverting Electoral Authoritarianism$
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Andreas Schedler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680320.001.0001

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Comparative Cases and Data

Comparative Cases and Data

(p.179) 6 Comparative Cases and Data
The Politics of Uncertainty

Andreas Schedler

Oxford University Press

The empirical explorations this book pursues into the internal dynamics of electoral autocracies worldwide are based on the original Dataset on Authoritarian Elections (1980–2022). This chapter describes its case selection and measurement decisions. It starts by discussing two alternative approaches for delineating authoritarian from democratic multiparty systems. One is the “alternation rule” that classifies multiparty systems as democratic once they have gone through their first electoral change in government. Alternatively, instead of looking at substantive results of elections as a litmus test of their democratic quality, one may rely on expert judgments, such as Freedom House political rights scores. The Dataset on Authoritarian Elections takes the latter route. The chapter explains its criteria of cases selection as well as its operational rules for identifying hegemonic regimes. In continuation, it delineates definitions, sources, measurement procedures, and frequency distributions for its core variables: electoral manipulation, electoral protest, and electoral competitiveness.

Keywords:   electoral authoritarianism, classification, electoral manipulation, measurement, alternation rule

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