Webinar: The Unintended Consequences of Repression in the Electoral Regimes in the Social Media Era
Date and Time: Jan 26, 2023 | 12:30 pm-1:30 pm Eastern Time
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Much research on democratization puts a premium on the importance of opposition political parties in bringing about democratic change, or at least being present at transitional elections to face incumbents. But the very existence of these parties is under-theorized. This article investigates the relationship between the support for opposition parties in hybrid regimes and the activity we would intuitively expect most hybrid regime incumbents to pursue in the face of a vibrant opposition: repression. Appealing to an original “big” dataset on the Cambodia National Rescue Party, this article finds that, surprisingly, the repression of opposition parties in hybrid regimes can actually lead to an increase in the attention they receive from citizens, which these parties can translate into more supporters. In other words, repressing an opposition party can actually increase its support base.
Jeremy Ladd researches opposition political parties and movements in electoral authoritarian regimes and emerging democracies. He is particularly interested in explaining why some parties and movements in these contexts are so successful while others are not. He is also interested in how both authoritarians and their opponents are adapting to the digital world. His comparative research is currently focused on Southeast Asia and Russia and the Post-Soviet region.