Does Election Matter in a Hybrid Regime?

  • Ali RiazEmail author
Part of the Politics of South Asia book series (POSAS)


It is well recognized in the extant discussion that election poses a dilemma to the leaders of the hybrid regimes: they want to show a veneer of democracy through a contested election but want to ensure their victory. As these elections only deliver success to the regime, the question remains of whether participation in these elections is worth for opposition. This chapter discusses the pros and cons of participation in the election in a hybrid regime, draws on various countries’ experiences, and describes the situation in Bangladesh leading to the 2018 election.


Election Resilience Legitimation Manipulation 


  1. Adcock, Chris. n.d. Violent Obstacles to Democratic Consolidation in Three Countries: Guatemala Colombia, and Algeria. Accessed January 6, 2019.
  2. 2018. US ambassador calls for probe into reported irregularities in Khulna election. May 16. Accessed January 7, 2019.
  3. Beatriz, Magaloni. 2006. Voting for Autocracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Beaulieu, Emily Ann. 2006a. Domestic and international determinants of election boycotts. Accessed January 24, 2019.
  5. Beaulieu, Emily Ann. 2006b. “Protesting the Contest: Election Boycotts around the World, 1990–2002.” University of California.Google Scholar
  6. Beaulieu, Emily Ann, and Susan D. Hyde. 2009. “In the Shadow of Democracy Promotion: Strategic Manipulation, International Observers, and Election Boycotts.” Comparative Political Studies 42 (3): 392–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bollen, Kenneth. 1980. “Issues in the Comparative Measurement of Political Democracy.” American Sociological Review 45 (3): 370–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brumberg, Daniel. 2002. “Democratization in the Arab World? The Trap of Liberalized Autocracy.” Journal of Democracy 13 (4): 56–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Corrales, Javier. 2015. “Autocratic Legalism in Venezuela.” Journal of Democracy 26 (2): 37–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Diamond, Larry. 1996. “Is the Third Wave Over?” Journal of Democracy 7 (3): 20–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diamond, Larry Jay. 2002. “Thinking about Hybrid Regimes.” Journal of Democracy 13 (2): 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ekman, Joakim. 2009. “Political Participation and Regime Stability: A Framework for Analyzing Hybrid Regimes.” International Political Science Review 30 (1): 7–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Epstein, David L., Robert Bates, Jack Goldstone, Ida Kristensen, and Sharyn O’Halloran. 2006. “Democratic transitions.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (3): 551–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gagné, Jean-François. 2012. Alliance Politics in Hybrid Regimes: Political Stability and Instability since World War II. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Montreal: University of Montreal. Accessed January 29, 2019.
  15. Gilbert, Leah, and Mohsin Payam. 2011. “Beyond Authoritarianism: The Conceptualization.” Studies in Comparative International Development 46: 270–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grishin, Nikolai. 2015. “The Meaning of Elections in the Russian Federation.” European Politics and Society 16 (2): 194–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hermet, Guy, Richard Rose, and Alain Rouquié. 1978. Elections Without Choice. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  18. Huq, Samia. 2015. The Mayoral Elections in Bangladesh: Between Toxic Waste and Toxic Politics. University of Berkeley. May 01. Accessed December 12, 2018.
  19. Karl, Terry. 2000. “Electoralism.” In International encyclopedia of elections, by Richard Rose, 392. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. Kendall-Taylor, Andrea, and Erica Frantz. 2013. “Mimicking Democracy to Prolong Autocracies.” The Washington Quarterly 37 (4): 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kilinc, Faith Resul. 2017. What we see in Venezuela is the faith of hybrid regimes. August 27. Accessed December 10, 2018.
  22. Knutsen, Carl Henrik, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Tore Wig. 2017. “Autocratic Elections: Stabilizing Tool or Force for Change?” World Politics 69 (1): 98–143.Google Scholar
  23. Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A. Way. 2002. “Elections without Democracy: The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism.” Journal of Democracy 13 (2): 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lindberg, Staffan L. 2009. “Introduction.” In Democratization by Elections: A New Mode of Transition, by Staffan L Lindberg, 432. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Liton, Shakhawat. 2018. Some insights into Gazipur Elections. June 28. Accessed January 28, 2019.
  26. Loidolt, Bryce, and Quinn Mecham. 2016. “Parliamentary Opposition Under Hybrid Regimes: Evidence from Egypt.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 41 (4): 997–1022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Malesky, Edmund, and Paul Schuler. 2010. “Nodding or Needling: Analyzing Delegate Responsiveness in an Authoritarian Parliament.” American Political Science Review 104 (3): 482–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meisburger, Tim. 2015. Booth Capture – Observing Municipal Elections in Bangladesh. May 06. Accessed January 5, 2019.
  29. Morgenbesser, Lee. 2014. “Elections in Hybrid Regimes: Conceptual Stretching Revived.” Political Studies 62 (1): 21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petrov, Nikolay, Maria Lipman, and Henry E. Hale. 2014. “Three dilemmas of hybrid regime governance: Russia from Putin to Putin.” Post-Soviet Affairs 30 (1): 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Puddington, Arch. 2017. Breaking Down Democracy: Goals, Strategies, and Methods of Modern Authoritarians. Washington, DC: Freedom House, 61. Accessed 2018 13, December.
  32. Roth, Kenneth. 2009. “Despots Masquerading as Democrats.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (1): 140–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schedler, Andreas. 2006a. Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  34. Schedler, Andreas. 2006b. “The Logic of Electoral Authoritarianism.” In Electoral Authoritarianism: The Dynamics of Unfree Competition, by Andreas Schedler. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  35. Schedler, Andreas. 2002. “The Menu of Manipulation.” Journal of Democracy 13 (2): 36–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schedler, Andres. 2015. “Electoral Authoritarianism.” Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  37. Seeberg, Merete Bech. 2013. “Authoritarianism and Elections during the Third Wave.” Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift 115 (4): 313–44.Google Scholar
  38. Shehata, Samer. 2009. “Political Da’wa: Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood’s Participation in Semi-Authoritarian Elections.” In In Islamist Politics in the Middle East: Movements and Change, by Samer Shehata, 120–45. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Smith, Ian O. 2014. “Election Boycotts and Hybrid Regime Survival.” Comparative Political Studies 47 (5): 743–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. The Daily Star. 2018a. Elections in 3 Cities: AL wins 2, irregularities rule. July 31. Accessed January 12, 2019.
  41. The Daily Star. 2018b. Irregularities, power play mar KCC election. May 15. Accessed December 16, 2018.
  42. Tlemcani, Rachid. 2007. Electoral Authoritarianism. May 29. Accessed November 27, 2018.
  43. Weeks, Gregory. 2013. A cautionary tale for election boycotts. March 1. Accessed December 13, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics and GovernmentIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

Personalised recommendations