Protest and Patronage: A Theory of Electoral Contest in Competitive Authoritarianism

  • Stan Hok-Wui Wong


In this chapter, a simple game-theoretic model is provided to explain how media freedom and patronage activities can shape the electoral contestation between the opposition and the pro-establishment elite in authoritarian regimes. The analytical model involves the interaction between four major stakeholders pertaining to authoritarian elections: the incumbent, the opposition, the media, and the voters. The discussion focuses particularly on the scenario when the cost of imposing media controls becomes too high for an authoritarian government. What can the government do to minimize its political risk? How would that affect the opposition parties? The key insight of the model is that media freedom tends to promote political radicalism, which may end up undermining the overall electoral support for the opposition elite.


Vote Share Authoritarian Regime Opposition Parti Electoral Rule Opposition Party 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stan Hok-Wui Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Government and Public AdministrationChinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong SAR

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