Book Project: The State and Support in Electoral Autocracies

How do contemporary autocrats respond to times of threat – periods of economic downturns and large-scale protests? For decades scholars predicted that when information about poor government performance comes to light, non-democracies will crumble. However, the empirical evidence suggests that contemporary autocracies, and the popular support incumbents enjoy are resilient. In the book, I demonstrate that authoritarian stability often stems from autocrats’ ability to manage public opinion. The book develops a theory of how contemporary autocracies interactively use propaganda and repression to generate support and deflect blame. Taking advantage of unusually rich and original data on news framing and (preventive) protest repression, combined with over 60,000 responses to face-to-face opinion surveys, the book studies when and how the Russian government’s response to economic downturns and large-scale protest, influenced support for Vladimir Putin, his government, and the opposition. The book gives a new view of why economic and political crises are often associated with resilient support for authoritarian rule and disengagement, not the weakening of autocracies or the onset of liberalization.  


Tertytchnaya, K., & Lankina, T. 2019. Electoral Protests and Political Attitudes under Electoral AuthoritarianismThe Journal of Politics. Online first.  PDF | Appendix

Tertytchnaya, K. 2019. Protests and Voter Defections in Electoral Autocracies: Evidence from Russia. Comparative Political Studies. Online first. 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. Replication materials

Data Papers 

Lankina, T. and Tertytchnaya, K. 2019. Protests in Electoral Autocracies: A New Dataset. Post-Soviet Affairs. Online First. Paper | Appendix | Replication data

Working Papers 

“This rally is not sanctioned” – Preventive repression and protests in electoral autocracies 

Remittances and corruption (with Catherine de Vries, Hector Solaz and David Doyle)