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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Selectorate theory explains variation in political leaders’ tenure in office. More specifically, it explains why leaders who produce “good” policies stay in office for short periods of time while leaders who deliver “bad” policy can hold on to power for decades. This chapter presents an overview of selectorate theory, discusses the political institutions that lie at the center of it, including the selectorate and the winning coalition, and elaborates on the place that authoritarian governance has in it. In particular, the chapter uses selectorate theory to analyze autocracies and explains why autocratic leaders implement different sets of policies to obtain and keep the political support necessary to maximize tenure in office.

Keywords: selectorate theory, tenure, leader, selectorate, winning coalition, autocracy, dictatorship, policy.

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