Nondemocratic Regimes (O' Neil)

  • Personal and Monarchical Rule
  • Military Rule
  • One-Party Rule
  • Theocracy
  • Illiberal (hybrid)

Regime Types (V-Dem)

  • Liberal democracy
  • Electoral democracy
  • Electoral autocracy
  • Closed autocracy

Parties and democracy

  • Locus of programmatic politics
  • Key to representation of common interests
  • How do we explain parties?

Hale’s Political Market Perspective

  • Candidate as consumer

  • Party as supplier of goods and services that candidates use to get elected

    • Organization
    • Reputation
    • Material resources
    • Electoral know-how

Level of production depends on:

  • Supply of the good
  • Demand for the good
  • Available substitutes
    • If cost of good goes up too much, consumers turn to substitutes

“Party Substitutes” in Russia

  • Examples

    • Regional political machines
    • Politicized financial-industrial groups
  • Origins

    • Soviet legacy
    • Transition policies–devolution, privatization

Party substitutes help candidates at least as much as parties

Russian Party Development

  • In 1990s Russian politics not party-based

    • President not partisan
    • 80% provincial legislators nonpartisan
    • 97% governors nonpartisan
    • 50% Duma nonpartisan
  • But by 2000s distinct parties had become common in Russian politics

Today’s Party System

  • Parties have distinct political orientations and platforms
    • Pro-Putin: United Russia Party
    • Left: Communist Party, A Just Russia
    • Conservative: Yabloko Party, Union of Right Forces
    • Nationalist: Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Rodina (formerly ‘Motherland’ Party)
  • Parties behave coherently in Duma
  • Voters know the parties
    • 50% express party loyalty
    • Vote along party lines
  • United Russia increasingly dominant

How Did United Russia Consolidate Power?

  1. Undercutting party substitutes
  2. Taming through electoral reform
  3. Corralling support

Undercutting Power of Party Substitutes

  • Ending gubernatorial elections
  • Legal action against politicized corporations

Taming Party Substitutes Through Electoral Reform

  • In 2007 elections, Duma elected entirely through closed list
  • PR gives parties control and encourages a competitive party system

Corral Substitutes Into Favoring Pro-Putin Parties

Nondemocratic Regimes in the Middle East

  • Absolute monarchies

    • e.g. Saudi Arabia, UAE
  • Constitutional monarchies with parliaments

    • Parliaments not mere facades
    • But flaws make them ‘partially free’
    • e.g. Jordan, Kuwait

Why Less Democracy in the Middle East?

  • Culture
    • Lack of secularism = impediment to democracy
    • All Muslim-majority countries do poorly
  • Oil curse
    • Arab countries do significantly worse even among countries with large Muslim population
    • Non-Arab Muslim countries ‘over-perform’
  • Which of these is right?
    • Surveys show continued support for democracy among citizens of ME countries


  • Levitsky & Way