Opposition Parties and Authoritarian Control: The Logic and Limitations of Cooptation translation missing: zh.hyrax.visibility.files_restricted.text

Buckles, Grant (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/ws859g51x?locale=zh
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Abstract

Cooptation is a central strategy used by dictators to minimize opposition mobilization and remain in power. Yet, only some opposition parties in these regimes are successfully controlled. Which opposition parties do dictators co-opt? Why do some parties resist cooptation? This dissertation answers these questions by examining the internal dynamics of opposition leadership. Specifically, it is argued that successful cooptation depends on how heavily an opposition leader relies on party activists for support. These grassroots members strengthen parties by facilitating collective action. However, activists oppose cooptation and may threaten the survival of leaders who collude with the regime. A formal model is developed to analyze how this dynamic influences an opposition leader's negotiations with the government. It shows that significant grassroots membership is necessary for cooptation to occur, since a party must pose some credible threat in order to warrant an offer from the regime. Yet as reliance on activists increases, leaders are more likely to reject offers to preserve their own survival. A strong activist base also undermines cooptation in divided parties by encouraging opportunistic conflicts over party leadership, which further indicates that authoritarian control is not simply a top-down process.

These arguments are evaluated using original data on opposition parties in 20 African non-democracies from 1990 to 2014. The internal dynamics of opposition parties have an important macro-political influence on key outcomes in multiparty dictatorships, the predominant regime type in this region. Cross-national data on ministerial positions, elite splits, leadership challenges, and party organization show that parties with a strong organizational capacity and secondary leaders are more likely to resist cooptation attempts. Furthermore, using event data to measure party-initiated conflicts with the government, this study finds that anti-government mobilization is driven by these same party-level dynamics. Overall, this dissertation provides novel information on how opposition parties under dictatorship are organized, as well as the first systematic evidence that cooptation through political appointments reduces party-level mobilization.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

  1. 1.1 The Puzzle of Opposition Cooptation.................. 4

  2. 1.2 Existing Approaches to Cooptation ................... 8

  3. 1.3 Argument Summary ........................... 13

  4. 1.4 Implications................................ 15

  5. 1.5 Organization of the Dissertation..................... 17

2 A Model of Opposition Party Cooptation 19

  1. 2.1 Introduction................................ 19

  2. 2.2 The Challenges of Opposition Leadership ................ 20

  3. 2.3 A Baseline Model............................. 23

    2.3.1 Elements of the Model ...................... 23

    2.3.2 Analysis.............................. 26

    2.3.3 Discussion............................. 28

  4. 2.4 Extended Model: Divided Leadership.................. 32

    2.4.1 Elements of the Model ...................... 32

    2.4.2 Analysis.............................. 35

    2.4.3 Discussion............................. 38

  5. 2.5 Implications................................ 40

3 A Cross-National Analysis of Cooptation in Africa 43

  1. 3.1 Introduction................................ 43

  2. 3.2 Cabinets and Cooptation in Africa ................... 45

  3. 3.3 Empirical Analysis ............................ 52

    3.3.1 Data and methods ........................ 52

    3.3.2 Results............................... 57

  4. 3.4 Conclusion................................. 62

4 The Internal Politics of Party Mobilization 64

  1. 4.1 Introduction................................ 64

  2. 4.2 Opposition Mobilization in Africa.................... 65

  3. 4.3 Empirical Analysis ............................ 69

    4.3.1 The Effectiveness of Cooptation................. 69

    4.3.2 Determinants of Protest ..................... 71

  4. 4.4 Conclusions ................................ 73

5 Conclusion 74

5.1 Implications................................ 74

5.2 FutureWork................................ 76

A Proofs of Formal Results 77

B Data Appendix 82

References 89

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