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Title: Disaggregating authoritarianism : the effects of territorial dispute involvement on regime survival and democratisation in four types of autocracies
Author: Buraczynska, Barbara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 0695
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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In recent years, a new approach to studying the relationship between democracy and peace has emerged within the field of International Relations. The Reversed Second Image Theory (ReSIT) argues that the arrow of causality in democratic peace research should run from conflict behaviour to regime type. More specifically, Gibler (2010) argues that participation in territorial disputes makes all regimes less likely to become democratic because salient threats to their survival reduce the bargaining power of the opposition within the country. Nevertheless, the theory is too general and it does not engage with related fields of research. By reviewing the most recent developments from the field of Comparative Politics, the thesis argues that ReSIT is compatible with the literature on elite-ruler dynamic in autocratic regimes. By narrowing the scope of the theory to autocracies, the thesis argues that territorial dispute involvement has a positive impact on autocratic regime survival and negative impact on the likelihood of democratisation. Furthermore, the thesis argues that the relationship between territorial dispute and regime survival and democratisation is likely to be affected by the structural features of the autocracy. The propositions are tested on a disaggregated sample of 314 autocracies between 1951 and 2008 using survival analysis. The analysis suggests that while territorial disputes have a significant positive impact on the survival of military and single party regimes, they have little or no effect on multiparty and monarchic regimes. Furthermore, a history of territorial dispute involvement decreases the likelihood of democratisation in all types of autocracies, and the effects are moderated by the structural features of the regime. The thesis has important implication on policy making, suggesting that democratic regime change in conflict-ridden regions is unlikely to reduce the likelihood of war. Efforts to stabilise conflict-prone areas should be re-focused on peaceful resolution of territorial conflict.
Supervisor: Maria, Grasso ; Garrett, Brown Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available