Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Adaptive Electoral Manipulation in Hybrid Regimes: A Multi-Level Analysis of Vote-Buying and Ballot-Rigging in the 2011 Russian Election
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Elections have become a commonplace feature of authoritarian regimes, yet the dynamics of such elections remain murky. Do authoritarian governments employ different strategies under different conditions to manipulate elections? This article considers the conditions under which electoral authoritarian regimes employ two such strategies, vote-buying and ballot-rigging. I propose new measures of vote-buying and ballot-rigging, and examine the correlates of each strategy using a multilevel analysis of data from the 2011 election in Russia's regions. I conclude that authoritarian regimes adapt to varying political conditions, and employ ballot-rigging strategies in places where the regime has a high degree of control over the political system. Vote-buying, by contrast, occurs when political competition is more elevated. These findings help resolve a debate over the relationship between political competitiveness and electoral fraud, in addition to helping illuminate how authoritarian regimes can ensure their survival even while allowing open competition.