Journal article

They Divided the Sky: Elite Factionalism Factors During Contentious Politics In GDR

Year:

2019

Published in:

Ideology and Politics
authoritarian regime
contentious politics
elite factionalism
game theory modeling
single-party regime
winning coalition

This paper aims to break into a “black box” of inner authoritarian elite mechanics by elucidating the rationales for elite behavior under the pressure of mass discontent during the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 in the GDR. A game-theoretic model is applied and statistically tested in order to explore causal links between elite members’ office types and their biological and institutional age on the one hand and defection on the other. The data corroborate three out of four initial hypotheses, namely that (1) party functionaries and (2) persons holding repression-related offices are most prone to defect, and that (3) both inner and outer party circle officials offer equal support to demands for liberalization. One hypothesis was only partly validated: there is an only partial causal relation between age and proneness to defect.

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