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Ora John Reuter and Rostislav Turovsky, "Dominant party rule and legislative leadership in authoritarian regimes," Party Politics, 20 (September, 2014), 663-674. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue5/ ]

First paragraph:
In the past ten years, political scientists have learned a great deal about institutional variation in non-democratic regimes. Important studies of authoritarian legislatures (Gandhi, 2008), elections (Blaydes, 2011; Magaloni, 2006) and parties (Brownlee, 2007; Magaloni, 2008) have demonstrated how these nominally democratic institutions can both fortify authoritarian rule and provide opportunities for opponents to undermine the regime. Yet many questions remain about how these institutions operate, and about the conditions under which they can bolster, as opposed to undermine, authoritarian rule.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Cumulative Moving Average of Share of Mandates and SMD Seats Won by United Russia in Regional Legislatures.
Table 1. Logit models of determinants of receiving leadership position in Russian regional legislatures.
Figure 2. Substantive Effects of Key Variables. Note:  Incumbency is held at a value of 1.  All other variables are held at their means.

Last Paragraph:
Finally, the findings in this article have important implications for the comparative study of ruling parties in hybrid and authoritarian regimes. By empirically illustrating how such parties reward loyalty with career advancement, we show how these parties keep elites loyal. The findings are especially relevant, given the fact that United Russia is less institutionalized than the handful of long-lived dominant parties, such as the PRI, that have received attention in the literature. Most dominant parties, like United Russia, are authoritarian institutions that coexist alongside clientelistic mechanisms of spoil management. In such regimes, the dominant party is not a closed shop, but, for many elites, party loyalty does offer special opportunities for career advancement.

Last updated November 2014