Budget Priorities in Hybrid Regimes: Elections and the Effect of Crisis Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Garifullina, Guzel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This research project uses public spending to approximate for policy decisions in hybrid regimes. I look at two specific kinds of challenges that may destabilize hybrids - and external economic crisis (in the same way it affects other regimes) and popular elections (which create uncertainty and a dual challenge from masses and elites to the incumbent’s power). Starting from the well-developed research literature on regime survival, I argue that regime stability will depend not only on the severity and nature of challenge to the regime, but also on the response strategy adopted by the incumbent leader. Exploring response strategies through the lens of spending dynamics in the Russian regions in 2001-2014, I build and use a two-dimensional decision space, containing the trade-off between long-term (investment) and short-term (consumption) spending strategies, as well as redistribution between the elites and the mass groups in the short term. I show that the economic crisis is associated with a decrease of spending on supporting the economy and health care (long-term) and an increase of spending on social welfare (short-term). Elections are shown to have a positive effect on spending on the bureaucracy (elite) and a negative effect on mass social welfare programs. That supports the hypotheses that an economic crisis motivates redistribution to immediate needs, and leaders facing elections prefer redistribution to elite groups to ensure their support. Election competitiveness strengthens the latter effect. The proposed theory adds to our understanding of nondemocratic regime functioning and dynamics.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Stephens, John
  • Robertson, Graeme
  • Hooghe, Liesbet
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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