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The Limited Effects of Democracy Aid on Regime Change

Conference contribution
Authors Agnes Cornell
Published in Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1
Publication year 2013
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords democracy aid; regime change; democracy; authoritarian regimes
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

This paper argues that democracy aid is a direct threat to the survival of unstable autocracies and their governments will therefore try to obstruct its implementation. In contrast, for democracies democracy aid is a safeguard against threats to the regime since this aid to a considerable part is designed to strengthen democratic rule. Democratic regimes will therefore not use their discretion over aid to obstruct its implementation. This suggests that democracy aid has only limited effects on regime change. We would assume democracy aid not to increase the probability of democratization in authoritarian regimes but only to prevent democratic breakdown in democracies. In fact, this paper shows empirically, employing survival analyses on worldwide aid-recipient democracies and dictatorships, over the period 1973-2007, that democracy aid has no effect on democratization but does prevent democratic breakdown.

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