Dictatorship is not what it was once. Military and single-party regimes have been withering away. Today, most dictators organize multiparty elections. The Politics of Uncertainty presents an analytical framework and empirical data that allow us to understand the distinctive political dynamics of these new electoral authoritarian regimes. It argues that all autocracies suffer from institutional uncertainties: their hold on power is never secure. They also suffer from informational uncertainties: they can never know for sure how secure they are. The author identifies these uncertainties as the central axes of regimes conflicts under dictatorship. The "politics of uncertainty" comprises the struggle between rulers and dissidents over these twin uncertainties. In electoral autocracies, it unfolds primarily as competition over electoral uncertainty. The study of electoral authoritarianism is a vibrant growth industry in political science and this book is required reading for all students of elections, authoritarianism, and democratization.
Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.