International Conflict, Military Rule, and Violent Authoritarian Breakdown
Why do some transitions of power from military rule occur violently while others do not? What effect, if any, does the international security environment have on how violent breakdowns of authoritarian rule are? I argue a conflict-prone security environment ameliorates the commitment problem by ensuring an influential role for the military out of power. Therefore, when facing a domestic crisis in a threatening security environment, military leaders are more likely to peacefully cede power rather than wield violent measures to stay in office. Perhaps counter-intuitively, international conflicts thus lead to transitions of power from military rule that minimize violence and human costs. International conflicts do not have this moderating effect on other types of authoritarian rule.
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