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May 20: James Vreeland

Global Fellow James Vreeland will present, "Political Institutions and Civil War: Unpacking Anocracy" (co-authored by Jennifer Gandhi, Emory University)

Leah Halvorson Email LeahHalvorson


Background reading for this presentation will be, "Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy, Political Change, and Civil War, 1816-1992" by Havard Hegre, Tanja Ellingsen, Scott Gates, and Nils Peter Gleditsch.

Abstract of James Vreeland's presentation:

Recent research published in the American Political Science Review contends “anocracies" - loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship - are more susceptible to civil war than either pure democracies or pure dictatorships. In our study, we consider one type of anocracy: dictatorships with nominally democratic institutions, such as legislatures. Drawing on a new dataset of institutions under dictatorship covering 199 countries from 1946 to 1996 (Gandhi 2004), we show that these types of regimes are actually less prone to civil war than other regime types. We find little support for the famous inverted U-shaped relationship between regime and civil war. Dictatorships that adopt the nominally democratic institution of a legislature are less prone to civil conflict than pure dictatorships. Not only does this project yield a significantly new finding about regimes and civil wars, it supports Cheibub’s (2004) broader argument about the careful measurement of specific political institutions.



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