Tertytchnaya, Katerina and Lankina, Tomila. 2020. Electoral Protests and Political Attitudes under Electoral Authoritarianism. The Journal of Politics. 82(1), 285-299. PDF | Appendix
Tertytchnaya, K. 2020. Protests and Voter Defections in Electoral Autocracies: Evidence from Russia. Comparative Political Studies. 53(12), 1926-1956. Summary at LSE Euro Crisis
Tertytchnaya, K., De Vries, C. E. Solaz, H., & Doyle, D. 2018. When the Money Stops: Fluctuations in Financial Remittances and Incumbent Approval. American Political Science Review. 112(4): 758-774. Replication materials
Tertytchnaya, K., & De Vries, C.E. 2018. The political consequences of self-insurance: Evidence from Central Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Political Behavior. 41:1047. Replication materials
‘This rally is not sanctioned’ – Nonviolent repression and dissent in electoral autocracies
While a large literature recognizes changes in the use of repression in contemporary autocracies, we know relatively little about the effect of nonviolent repression on citizen dissent decisions in these regimes. To gain traction on this question I examine how, by using the law and the protest notification system to selectively prohibit demonstrations, contemporary autocrats influence citizen attitudes toward dissent. The empirical analysis leverages unusually detailed data on authorized and unauthorized protests from Russia, and original observational and experimental evidence from opinion surveys. I show that unauthorized protests, which are more likely to be met with arrests than authorized events, dampen trust in protest organizers. However, the findings also suggest that the effect of unauthorized protests on public opinion is not uniform, but rather contingent on citizens’ prior beliefs about the legitimacy of the authorities. Findings have implications for debates on the changing nature of repression and authoritarian resilience.
Independent Media Under Pressure: Evidence from Russia (with Tom Paskhalis and Bryn Rosenfeld)
Existing literature recognizes growing threats to press freedom in electoral autocracies. However, few studies investigate how independent media respond to state pressure. We propose that outlets’ response to state pressure is shaped by their sources of revenue and editors’ incentives to pander. We test this argument with evidence from contemporary Russia. Using a corpus of 85,000 news items, we investigate how the abrupt removal of independent outlet TV Rain from television providers influenced its coverage. We find that shortly after TV Rain was disconnected from providers, the tone of its government coverage improved and its content became more similar to that of the leading state channel. Overtime, however, TV Rain became more critical. Our findings, which speak to scholarship on authoritarian endurance, highlight a tradeoff in autocrats’ use of intimidation. While attacks on free press may have short-term benefits, they could ultimately backfire.
Citizens in Autocracies: A research framework (with Ksenia Northmore-Ball, Anja Neundorf and Johannes Gerschewski)
An influential literature recognises that nondemocratic governments depend on popular support to lower the costs of staying in power. Yet, to this point, relatively little is known about the various attitudes that motivate citizens to cooperate with the state in autocracies. Combining insights from political theory and political behavior, and drawing on decades of research in sociology, economics, history and organizational theory, we propose a unified research framework that helps to clarify and conceptualize the complex relationship between autocrats and citizens. Focusing on variation in the beliefs that motivate cooperation with the state, our framework proposes a tripartite distinction between compliant, conditional, and sincere support for the ruling regime. We conceptually map these types of support to the set of strategies autocrats can use to achieve them, emphasizing the role of punitive measures, goods provision, and indoctrination efforts. We finally review empirical strategies that can help to measure different types of attitudinal support. The framework we introduce can help develop new hypotheses, inform comparative data collection efforts, and shape empirical strategies used to study the relationship between autocrats and citizens.