Department of Political Science

Patterns of Regime Breakdown since the French Revolution

Research output: Working paperResearch

We present a new dataset comprising more than 1900 regimes in 197 polities over the time period 1789–2016. We use this dataset to describe different historical patterns of regime duration globally, leveraging fine-grained measures on when regimes started and ended and a nuanced scheme of different modes of regime breakdown. To mention a few patterns, we display how the frequency of regime breakdown, and particular modes of breakdown, have followed cyclical rather than linear patterns across modern history and that the most common modes, overall, are coups d’´etat and incumbent-guided transformations of regimes. Further, we evaluate whether selected economic and political-institutional features are systematically associated with breakdown. We find robust evidence that low income levels, slow or negative economic growth, and having intermediate levels of democracy predict higher chances of regime breakdown, although these factors are more clearly related to regime breakdown during some periods of modern history than others. When disaggregating different models of breakdown, we find notable differences for these predictors, with low income levels, for example, being strongly related to regime breakdowns due to popular uprisings, whereas intermediate levels of democracy clearly predict regime breakdowns due to coups and incumbent-guided regime transitions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherV-Dem Institute Working Paper Series
Volume69
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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ID: 129233547