The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes

Issue Date July 2013
Volume 24
Issue 3
Page Numbers 5-17
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Read the full essay here.

Authoritarian regimes that have their origins in revolution boast a much higher survival rate than other brands of authoritarianism. What accounts for the durability of these revolutionary regimes (which the authors define—building on the work of Samuel Huntington and Theda Skocpol—as those which emerge out of sustained, ideological, and violent struggle from below, and whose establishment is accompanied by mass mobilization and significant efforts to transform state structures and the existing social order). Four variables emerge as decisive in explaining the durability of revolutionary regimes: The destruction of independent power centers, strong ruling parties, invulnerability to coups, and enhanced coercive capacity.

About the Authors

Steven Levitsky

Steven Levitsky is professor of government at Harvard University and co-chair of the Journal of Democracy Editorial Board.

View all work by Steven Levitsky

Lucan A. Way

Lucan Way is Distinguished Professor of Democracy at the University of Toronto, co-director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, and co-chair of the Journal of Democracy Editorial Board.

View all work by Lucan A. Way