The ruler's game of musical chairs: Shuffling during the reign of Ethiopia's last emperor

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dictators frequently shuffle their officials to break up potentially threatening cliques within their regimes. Yet, how they go about rearranging their officials is not well understood. Using network analysis and focusing on the last emperor of Ethiopia, this paper offers a systematic analysis of shuffling by tracing the movements of subordinates over the course of thirty four years. The results show that while officials where frequently shuffled, their movements were confined within clusters of different branches. Such circumscribed movements, I argue, represent the mechanism by which dictators reconcile the tradeoff between suppressing potential rivals and encouraging expertise for the proper functioning of the state apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-166
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Networks
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Authoritarian politics
  • Political survival
  • Regime stability
  • Social network analysis

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