BASEES Annual Conference 2022

Power to the People? Explaining authoritarian referendums in post-Soviet Eurasia

Fri8  Apr04:20pm(20 mins)
Umney Theatre
Dr Ben Noble


Jody Laporte, Ben Noble, Nicholas James


When and why do authoritarian regimes hold referendums? Drawing on an original dataset of referendums held in the 15 post-Soviet successor states since 1992, we unpack and theorise the differences among authoritarian referendums, and assess the conditions under which rulers put issues to a public vote. The paper extends the growing literature on formal political institutions in non-democracies, which has so far focussed on parties, parliaments, and elections.