The Strategic Shuffle: Ethnic Geography, the Internal Security Apparatus, and Elections in Kenya

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Authors Mai Hassan
Journal/Conference Name AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Paper Category
Paper Abstract For autocrats facing elections, officers in the internal security apparatus play a crucial role by engaging in coercion on behalf of the incumbent. Yet reliance on these officers introduces a principal-agent problem: Officers can shirk from the autocrat's demands. To solve this problem, autocrats strategically post officers to different areas based on an area's importance to the election and the expected loyalty of an individual officer, which is a function of the officer's expected benefits from the president winning reelection. Using a data set of 8,000 local security appointments within Kenya in the 1990s, one of the first of its kind for any autocracy, I find that the president's coethnic officers were sent to, and the opposition's coethnic officers were kept away from, swing areas. This article demonstrates how state institutions from a country's previous authoritarian regime can persist despite the introduction of multi-party elections and thus prevent full democratization.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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