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(p. 142) 8. Autocratic Transitions 

(p. 142) 8. Autocratic Transitions
(p. 142) 8. Autocratic Transitions

Andrea Kendall-Taylor

, Natasha Lindstaedt

, and Erica Frantz

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date: 13 May 2021

This chapter focuses on the pathways through which authoritarian regimes break down. Authoritarian regime exits fall into two general categories. Authoritarian regimes break down as a result of top-down processes initiated by regime insiders, such as military coups and elections. Authoritarian regimes also break down as a result of bottom-up pathways, including protests or insurgencies. The chapter then shows how the mode of regime failure influences a country's subsequent political trajectory. Some modes of exit like coups rarely lead to democratization, while other pathways, like peaceful protest, are more likely to usher in democracy. The chapter also discusses a different type of political transition: the departure of the regime's leader. It traces the pathways of authoritarian leader failure and explains how authoritarian leader exits influence the chance that the regime falls with the leader.

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