Authoritarian Stability in the South Caucasus
Voting preferences, autocratic responses and regime stability in Armenia and Georgia
In recent years, competitive authoritarianism has become an increasingly common form of non-democratic politics. What is the relationship between the demand for particular public policies and a regime’s durability in office in such cases? How does policy-making interact with organizational power, the willingness to resort to coercion and patronage politics in countries home to democratic-looking institutions that none the less fall short of democratic standards?
In this book we show that such regimes do more than just survive and collapse. Moreover, we argue that far from being passive pawns in the hands of their leaders voters in competitive authoritarian regimes, do matter are taken seriously. We investigate how regimes and voters interact in the cases of Georgia and Armenia, two post-Soviet countries in the South Caucasus, to identify how voters preferences feed into policy-making and gauge the extent to which the regimes’ adjustment of their policies crucially affects regime stability. To these ends, we draw on a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including a survey experiment carried out in the two countries.
The volume was originally published as a special issue of the journal Caucasus Survey.
Table of Contents
1. Taking partly free voters seriously: autocratic response to voter preferences in Armenia and Georgia
Matteo Fumagalli and Koba Turmanidze
2. The self-defeating game: how state capacity and policy choice affect political survival
Dustin Gilbreath and Koba Turmanidze
3. Elections and election fraud in Georgia and Armenia
Dustin Gilbreath and Sona Balasanyan
4. Retrospective voting in Georgia: does the government’s past performance matter?
5. Promises, lies and the accountability trap. Evidence from a survey experiment in Armenia and Georgia
6. Balancing the three pillars of stability in Armenia and Georgia
Rati Shubladze and Tsisana Khundadze
Matteo Fumagalli is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, UK
Koba Turmanidze is Director of the Caucasus Resource Research Centre in Tbilisi, Georgia