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Protests and Voter Defections in Electoral Autocracies: Evidence From Russia

Tertytchnaya, K; (2019) Protests and Voter Defections in Electoral Autocracies: Evidence From Russia. Comparative Political Studies 10.1177/0010414019843556. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

A large literature expects that as protests unfold in electoral autocracies, voters who supported the ruling regime in the past will withdraw support and shift to supporting its opponents. Yet there are only a few empirical tests of how opposition protests influence voter defections in these regimes. To gain empirical traction on this question, I draw on evidence from Russia. Tying together evidence from a protest-event dataset and a panel survey of voters conducted prior to and during the 2011-2012 protest wave, I examine how voters who supported the ruling regime in the past respond to anti-regime mobilization. Results reveal differentiation in defections. While opposition protests dampen support for the ruling regime and depress engagement, they do not necessarily translate into greater support for the regime’s challengers. Findings, which have implications for debates on defection cascades in autocracies, speak to the literatures on authoritarian endurance and the legacies of (attempted) revolutions.

Type: Article
Title: Protests and Voter Defections in Electoral Autocracies: Evidence From Russia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0010414019843556
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: voter defections, protests, public opinion, electoral autocracies, Russia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074929
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