IDCAR guest scholar Dr. David Kuehn gave lecture on "The Dictator's Endgame"

The IDCAR Network and the GIGA's Research Program 1 jointly hosted a lecture by Dr. David Kühn on our Heidelberg University network partners' newly approved research project.

The IDCAR Network and the GIGA's Research Program 1 jointly organized a lecture by Dr. David Kühn from Heidelberg University on "The dictator's endgame. Theory and empirical analysis of military behavior in authoritarian regime crises" on Tuesday, 2 June.

David is the first guest reseearcher of the IDCAR Network at the GIGA, staying in Hamburg until late June. His research foci are civil-military relations, democracy/democratization as well as questions of social scientific methodology.

The presentation introduced a new research project that aims to analyze the role of the military during peaceful mass uprisings in non-democratic regimes. The project intends to answer two questions: (1) When does the military defend the dictator against the mobilizing masses and when does it defect from the regime coalition? (2) How can different forms of defection be explained, i.e., when and why do military leaders side with the opposition, and when do they stage a coup d’état, respectively? The presentation outlined the concept of “dictator’s endgame”; presented a game-theoretic model that explains the outcome of authoritarian regime crises as the result of strategic bargaining between the dictator, the military leadership and the opposition over the distribution of material and political privileges; and discussed the methodological approach that will be used to test the model’s explanatory power.