Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo, Coercive Capacity and the Prospects for Democratization
How does the strength of a state's coercive apparatus under autocracy affect the likelihood of democratic transition? While a broad range of literature posits a negative link between repression and democracy, empirical models of the determinants of democratization rarely include measures that capture this relationship. An original panel dataset with a global scope from 1950?2002 enables an empirical assessment of whether coercive capacity is negatively associated with democracy. The dataset demonstrates that increased coercive capacity under autocracy has a strong, robust negative impact on both a country's level of democracy as well as the likelihood of democratization. The analysis suggests that empirical studies of democratization should include measures of repression to account for the widely assumed link between coercive capacity and autocracy.
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