the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world











2010 June 9


Abstract: In this paper, I suggest that a more-complicated basic framework is necessary to properly describe governmental arrangements, with power being finely graduated, and willingness to use power and institutionalization of power existing on a continuum. I nonetheless suggest means for resimplifying our understanding, using concepts of autocracy and ruling and subject classes. I apply all of this to previously-discussed balances of strategy involving a public régime myth, and illustrate this using examples from around the world, as well as an idealized uprising scenario that demonstrates some possibility for simplification. Finally, I apply this scheme in detail to two phases of Ba‘thist rule in Iraq.


A parsimonious theory with decent explanatory power is indeed a worthy goal, and our standard for evaluating it should certainly not be perfection. No theory can explain everything, and a simple model has serious advantages over a thorough, detailed descriptive theory, particularly one whose detail is so unwieldy as to make it impractical.1 Nonetheless, when a parsimonious theory falls short of describing reality, not even in details but in broad outline, then its value is questionable. This is the case, for example, with the dual-axis, four-archetype model of autocracy proposed by Ronald Wintrobe2, and with the more-general selectorate theory of government proposed by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph Siverson, and James Morrow. As such, it is necessary to add significant detail to our understanding in order to approximate an accurate description of the world of government.

The model of Bueno de Mesquita et al. is admirable in its generality. Its primary weakness is that it is not general enough. This is especially the case with regard to the selectorate. The selectorate, in its original formulation by Susan Shirk, is a good concept in a stable system, particular a stable democracy, where the selectorate is the electorate, and a one-party state, where the selectorate is a part of the ruling party. But the Bueno de Mesquita et al. definition of selectorate cannot even extend sensibly to the single-party state, and it proves weaker still in dealing with a personalist government, such as that of Stalin or Saddam. In any case, though, it suggests there is such a thing as a powerful insider bloc, without allowing for fluidity in power. In this way it is the complement of social-movement theory.

Social-movement theorists, such as Sidney Tarrow, Doug McAdam, and John McCarthy and Mayer Zald, posit the existence of a bloc on the outside of the social arrangements of power, and suggest that outsiders (social movements) will use a different set of “non-institutional” tools to achieve their ends; they will practice, in Tarrow’s words, “contentious politics”, where insiders practice, presumably, normal politics. The field as a whole is critical of the focus on institutions in most political science. This is a reasonable criticism, though it misses the true value of the criticism. Politics, broadly speaking the attempt by an element of society to influence the nature of society, is a mêlée of power; all actors act constantly using whatever means are available to them and that they perceive to be effective to achieve their political goals, spending their resources economically and acting alone or in ad-hoc coalitions. While we can simplify this situation with some degree of accuracy to arrive at models that allow us to make sense of the mêlée, we must remember that the starting point is at least as complicated as the number of individuals in society.


The components of power

Power in society rests ultimately with individuals, and the power of each individual exists on a gradient. Taken to a certain number of significant digits, every individual would have a measurably-unique level of power. Given that, it is possible to say, of a government or a society, that any one person is more powerful than some and less powerful than all others. This is always, though, a fundamentally-relative measurement, even if we later attempt to classify the spectrum for the sake of parsimony, as I will.

The power (P) of any individual is the sum of inalienable personal resources (Rp), alienable resources not (yet) alienated (Ra), resources of any institution controlled (Ri), personal authority (Ap), and authority of any institution controlled (Ai), each multiplied by its own (variable) willingness to use that power, a weighting factor ranging from 0 to 1. Each measure of authority is itself the sum of the personal power of all those affected by that authority; the relevant willingnesses in the sum are those applying to the particular relationship of authority, how much of their power they are willing to use in response to that authority.

P = Rpwrp + Rawra + Riwri + Apwap + Aiwai

A = ∑( Rpwrp + Rawra + Riwri + Apwap + Aiwai )

These willingnesses in response to authority are considerably lower in most cases than they would be for personal projects. For example, the middle-class bureaucrat is not going to spend any significant amount of its money (a component of Ra) in support of the higher-ranking bureaucrat who otherwise has institutional authority (Ai) over that underling, meaning that wra would be near or at 0. On the other hand, that same bureaucrat might be willing to devote most of its inalienable personal resources (Rp), such as intellect, during work hours, meaning that wrp would be relatively high.

Authority networks are, as in this scheme, iterative. I exercise my authority over individuals, who exercise their authority over others, who exercise their authority over still others. To be completely accurate, much of Ra and Ri should really be considered as Ai. For instance, the money in my checking account is only available to me because I control the institution of my checking account, and the bank employees accept an institutional obligation that leads them to honor my check, just as their institution depends on other institutions. In the strict sense we should then be looking at networks of institutional authority that can, if rarely, fail; but we can assume a watertight institutional framework for many analyses.

Powers are generally not alienated. The notion, as Milan Svolik supposes, that a ruling coalition may delegate executive powers to an individual who then becomes a dictator, is based on alienation. But the powers that the ruling coalition members contribute to government in the first place are powers they necessarily retain; they have the same ability to withdraw any delegation of executive powers — that is, to change the authority relationship. If the chosen individual becomes more powerful, it is because the individual has been positioned to acquire new powers.

The components of power can be broken down further; specific resources that fall in the same broad category may have their own specific willingnesses. Finally, this power scale is largely a theoretical tool (comparable to the immeasurable loyalty and repression of Wintrobe’s model), though that does not rule out the measurement of certain elements of individual power. Resources can often be denominated in currency. Authority can be crudely measured through a count of affected individuals, as Bueno de Mesquita et al. discuss with knights fees in medieval England.


Two classes and three strategies of non-democratic rule

In a previous paper, I discussed the division of the population in non-democracies into ruling and subject classes. In the present scheme, it can be pointed out that this simply represents a judgement on where to divide the power scale,3 a judgement over who is powerful enough to meaningfully influence government policy. While the inside-outside dichotomy of social-movement theory is qualitative, as partially indicated by the imagined qualitative difference in approach and method between the two sides, the ruling-subject class distinction is strictly quantitative, more power versus less power, without a fundamental distinction in approach or method. As a special case, an autocrat or dictator (these are identical in basic meaning) is a person so much more powerful than the others in its society that it can be considered with some reason as a ruling class of one. In this case, ‘ruler’ is also applicable; it abuses the terms to apply them to those who merely serve as the head of a non-democratic régime.4

Also in the previous paper, I suggested that, while the emerging consensus identified by Abel Escribà-Folch and Joseph Wright, that it is necessary to study co-optation as well as repression, is correct, these strategies for rule are only pursued as an expensive fallback from the most desirable strategy, the creation of a public myth providing a rationale for minority rule.5 Mancur Olson captures the dynamic well, speaking of his stationary bandits cum rulers:

These violent entrepreneurs naturally do not call themselves bandits but, on the contrary, give themselves and their descendants exalted titles. They sometimes even claim to rule by divine right. Since history is written by the winners, the origins of ruling dynasties are, of course, conventionally explained in terms of lofty motives rather than by self-interest. [p568]
But this is not simply a matter of aggrandizement. This is a means of securing obedience without the expenditure on co-optation or coercion. I would contend that every minority régime will pursue this strategy simply because there is no potential disadvantage; it is relatively cheap, and the worst possible outcome, exposure of the myth, is no worse than the exposure of the other strategies.


Recognizing institutionalization

Authority vested in persons and authority vested in institutions are two extremes on a continuum of power institutionalization. In republics, the expected authority is in institutions; officials will fulfill their responsibilities in a prescribed manner with respect to institutions, and will only fail to execute the instructions of a designated official if those instructions are themselves in violation of institutional arrangements. In other words, the official will always defend the institutions, usually by following the prior arrangements, but where necessary by ignoring the prior arrangements. However, this institutional ideal is never quite reached. There will always be, for instance, bureaucrats and soldiers who do not approve of a particular office-holder, and will not provide complete obedience. There is also the potential for officials to perceive a conflict in institutional authorities, so that, for instance, a soldier may view his loyalty as being to the military, rather than to its elected civilian commanders.

Even in democracies, the institutions themselves do not always have the value they are taken to have. In India, the leader of the ruling coalition, Sonia Gandhi, has considerable power, such that it is by no means certain that the prime minister Manmohan Singh has more. During the premiership of Yukio Hatoyama of Japan, his predecessor Ichiro Ozawa remained in control of the governing party and wielded a similarly-suggestive amount of influence over policy and the state. Often the institutional balance of power between nominal presidents or kings and prime ministers is not fixed; though the understanding may be that greater power lies with the prime minister, “formal power” may lie with the president or king, and it is the occupants of these offices who help determine who actually wields more power.6 Power struggles have recently taken place between the presidents and prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Nepal, in which presidents apparently meant to be figureheads have influenced policy by exercising their formal roles. The Nepali balance of power was unclear primarily because the institution of the president is a new creation, in response to the seizure of power by a supposedly-figurehead king in recent years.

In non-democracies, institutionalization should be presumed to be low unless otherwise demonstrated. In particular, it should never be taken for granted that the person officially designated as president or prime minister7 is the most influential person in a government, or that a body officially designated as the legislature actually makes laws. China’s two most important political figures in the post-civil-war era, Mao Ze Dong and Deng Xiao Ping, were usually without the key nominal government posts; while Deng was heading the régime, his only official post was chair of the Central Military Commission, and major decisions were taken by him and a group of “retired” octogenarians. After Deng’s death, the paramount leadership appeared to some to become institutionalized in the office of the presidency, held at that time by Jiang Ze Min. By this reading, Hu Jin Tao became paramount leader after Jiang’s retirement. But Jiang as president was not able to reverse Deng’s choice of Hu as the next president, even after Deng’s death; and Hu has not been able to prevent Jiang’s preference from being named as the heir apparent for the presidency, over his own preference. This does not qualify Jiang as an autocrat, but it is evidence that he may remain the most influential figure in China, and certainly casts doubt on the institutionalization of the People’s Republic.

There is similar reason to doubt whether Lee Kuan Yew surrendered all or even most of his power when he stepped down from the premiership of Singapore. He had guided the state as prime minister for decades. Raj Vasil quotes figures from the People’s Action Party as believing that Lee Kuan Yew essentially was the state in the public’s eye, and that ministers and MPs were loyal directly to him. Lee trained and guided younger ministers even after being succeeded by Goh Chok Tong as prime minister, and when his own son Lee Hsien Loong succeeded Goh, Lee Kuan Yew remained in the cabinet. Given the “Asian values” interpretation of Confucianism that Lee was noted for, it is rather hard to imagine that younger ministers including his own son would have seen fit to defy the policy or personnel preferences of an elder with such experience and public profile. A more likely analysis is that Lee surrendered day-to-day management, but retains a guiding role and final say on issues of his own choosing.

As for so-called legislatures, Ellen Lust-Okar has described the lack of legislative function for the official legislature of Jordan8, and implied it for Syria. The BBC recently broadcast a video of a small number of Russian parliamentarians hurriedly casting votes for numerous absent colleagues in order to carry a vote for the ruling United Russia party. The nominal legislatures of China and Singapore are party-dominated affairs whose members owe their positions to senior figures and could not be expected to express independence.9


The uprising: self-simplification of power in action

As an example of how these power relationships often boil down to key factors, consider the generic scenario at the heart of many uprisings. The government is collected in a central building, surrounded by armed guards. The building and its guards are themselves surrounded by an angry mob, unarmed but much larger in numbers than the guards. The opposition mob wants the government deposed. The government wants to remain in power. All three groups want to live, but each has its own calculus. The power of the opposition at the beginning of the standoff, is, in this case, the sum of their willingness-weighted personal resources, ∑Rpwrp, chiefly personal bodily strength and importantly their ability to sacrifice their own lives. The power of the government at the beginning of the standoff is heavily dependent on two terms, the sum of the ministers’ willingness-weighted authority, ∑(Apwap + Aiwai), specifically referring to the obedience of the guards and the willingness of the ministers to order them to kill the opposition, and the sum of the guards’ willingness-weighted personal and alienable resources, ∑(Rpwrp + Rawra), with the former being again personal bodily strength and the ability to sacrifice themselves, and the latter being arms.10

The willingness of the opposition members to use bodily strength should be essentially 1 in all cases. The willingness to sacrifice themselves largely depends on how much each individual suffers under the government’s policies, and how much they care to contribute to improving the lot of survivors; we have plenty of evidence that this number can be fairly high. The willingness of the guards to use force against the opposition depends on their level of belief in the régime myth (basically obedience to institutional authority), how much they benefit from the régime personally (largely obedience to personal authority), how much they value the lives of the public (whom soldiers generally imagine themselves as protecting) and associate the opposition with the public, how likely they feel an opposition takeover is (which obviously can change rapidly during the standoff), and how much they have to fear from an opposition takeover (a number which gets dramatically higher the first time they fire their weapons on the opposition). The willingness of the ministers to order fire depends on similar things, such as how much they value the lives of the public and associate the opposition with the public, how likely they feel an opposition takeover is, and how much they have to fear from an opposition takeover. Only if they are ruling believers — that is, believers in the public régime myth justifying their rule — would they be at all willing to sacrifice their lives; most therefore will only order fire if they expect the guards to prevail. If the régime falls they will generally lose their power and benefits, which will always count in favor of ordering fire; if they are implicated in previous acts of oppression and atrocity, they will be more likely to order fire (since they are already facing violent consequences because of previous acts), and if not they will be less likely (since in ordering fire they will be opening themselves more to violent consequences). A massacre of the opposition that ends with an opposition victory anyway will lead to a high likelihood of a violent end for the ministers, and they will therefore, given a high probability of opposition victory, use their remaining power to negotiate the best exit possible, offering the opposition most of what they want (that is, the ministers’ departure but not their scalps) in exchange for sparing the opposition any loss of life.


Iraq before and after 1979

Iraq is classified under Barbara Geddes’ scheme as having two Ba‘thist régimes since 1968, divided by the ascendancy of Saddam Hussein to the presidency in 1979. In a limited sense, this may match her definition (1993) of a change in the rules by which leadership is decided, given that in 1968 the nominal leadership was determined among colleagues, and the next change in nominal leadership, in 1979, was determined entirely by Saddam himself. The transition does provide a decent marking point in other respects as well, which I will discuss; but it would be a mistake to believe, as many have done, that Saddam became the ruler of Iraq in 1979. Mark Bowden states that after the Ba‘thists seized power in 1968, “Saddam immediately became the real power behind his cousin Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr”, the nominal president. Marion Farouk-Sluglett and Peter Sluglett describe the brief initial period of Ba‘thist rule in which the al-Bakr-Saddam faction (always described as such) contended with another, led by the initial prime minister, ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Nayif, and the initial defense minister, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Da’ud, for supremacy in the new régime, eventually sidelining the two, just a fortnight later, using forces loyal to Saddam. At that point Saddam became the head of the new security apparatus, and as he was already the head of the party organization and the military were rapidly Ba‘thized by the al-Bakr-Saddam faction, that left Saddam in a position to command much of the state without consulting anyone else. Saddam was even the object of a cult of personality, according to the Slugletts, developed a few years later while al-Bakr was still nominally president.

Given the speed with which Saddam displaced his rivals despite their official positions, and his noted command of the state both before and after his official presidency, we must conclude that apparent institutions had little meaning in either phase of Ba‘thist rule. The rapid changeover in the Revolutionary Command Council and the fate of many of its members suggests that there was little in the way of an alternative institutional structure11, either; Iraq under Saddam was simply not very institutionalized. Saddam’s power was not dependent, therefore, on institutional resources and authority. Rather, his power depended originally on his inalienable personal resources (Rp) and eventually heavily on his personal authority (Ap), with his vast alienable resources (Ra) merely a byproduct of the other two.

Furthermore, the story of Iraq between 1968 and 1979 was that of a dramatic expansion of the gap in power between Saddam and his nearest rivals, but it should not confuse us as to his initial position. He should probably be recognized as the most powerful among relative equals from the very beginning of the régime. By the time of his assumption of the official presidency in 1979, he was already so far above his nearest power rivals as to be considered an autocrat, and his gradual accumulation of power continued much as it had. The events of 1979, particularly the execution of so many régime officials, certainly would have led to a sudden jump in Saddam’s personal authority, but perhaps not enough to change the dynamics of the Iraqi state by itself. But the events did signal a change in strategy, both in emphasis, and in the régime’s public myth.

In the beginning, the Ba‘thist régime presented itself as a revolutionary pan-Arab nationalist movement, in which the individual Arab state was under the guidance and care of the party in service to a higher ideal of a strong, united, socialist Arab nation. As Saïd Arburish relates, the existence of two neighboring but separate Ba‘thist Arab states stood out in defiance of this myth, giving al-Bakr an opening for a last-ditch effort at relevance, proposing an immediate merger of Iraq with Syria, with himself as president and Syria’s Hafez al-Assad occupying in the combined state the same role Saddam played in Iraq: official number two, power behind the throne, heir apparent. This would have been a step up for al-Bakr in prestige and a big step up for al-Assad in power, but a demotion for Saddam. It is not surprising that Saddam put a stop to it, forcing al-Bakr’s resignation and effectively ending the merger. But having done so, he marred the façade of Ba‘thist rule. While Saddam had, as already mentioned, created a cult of personality around himself, this was in the context of a Ba‘thist myth. Now, the public myth of the régime was focused entirely on Saddam. To extend Geddes’ terminology, it shed the public face of a single-party régime and became entirely personalist, with all of the implications. Saddam’s personal authority was unchallenged and unchallengeable, and the régime’s survival and the welfare of all its servants depended upon Saddam.12 From Saddam’s point of view, this was necessary; there could be no further allowance for someone like al-Bakr actually believing the public myth, believing that someone besides Saddam wielded power in Iraq.

At the same time, by reconfiguring the régime hierarchy in such a dramatic way — that is, by killing so many of them — Saddam was signaling a change of strategy from co-optation to coercion. Of those who might have imagined themselves as being participants in power, many were killed, many were compelled to participate in the killing, and many were witnesses. There could be no remaining doubt about the power differential in Iraq, but more importantly, the incentive for working with the régime clearly changed. This did not mean the end of subject beneficiaries, but fear, not reward, was to be the primary motivating factor from that point forward.13

Models which focus on economics are oversimplifications. It is important to remember that money and power (for power’s sake) are not the only motivations for someone who pursues power. Geddes (2005) notes that the military’s dominant interests are frequently not money at all but military corporate interest and nationalism. Some rulers would use power to accomplish things, of various qualities; some would be perceived in a certain way. Saddam is one (of many) who was famous for his vanity. Iraq was already effectively a personalist state before 1979; the transition from a Ba‘thist to a personalist public myth was meant to satisfy Saddam’s desire to be glorified above all.

The connection between the change of strategy and the executions of 1979 is clear. But we should also recognize a connection with the seizure of the east bank of the Shatt al-Arab from Iran in 1980, and the ensuing war that led to a million deaths, as well as Saddam’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and his use of them against Iran and against the Kurds. The attack against the Kurds was clearly consonant with the strategy of instilling fear in his subjects. The mere possession of chemical weapons and their use against the Iranians would have contributed to that effect as well. The war itself, as well as the attack on the Kurds, would have served, at least in victory, the new public myth of Saddam as war leader and champion of the Arabs against their non-Arab rivals, as would his 1991 shelling of and ongoing support for suicide terrorism in Israel, as would his decade-long defiance of international sanctions designed to make him give up programs for WMD. The retention of these weapons, or at least (according to the present conventional wisdom that he had disarmed) his unwillingness to verify the destruction of the weapons, would serve both the myth of an unbreakable Saddam, and the strategy of cowing his subjects. While I would not dismiss competing rationales, such as developing WMD to intimidate neighbors or invading Iran and Kuwait to acquire resources (each is also true, as are other rationales), I believe that much of Saddam’s post-1979 behavior can be attributed to a change in the public myth of the Iraqi régime, and the change in balance of strategy from co-optation to coercion that the change in myth entailed. In other words, Saddam decided that he wanted to be acknowledged publicly, rather than continuing under the aegis of the Ba‘th Party and in the shadow of Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, and that he wanted to be celebrated inside and outside of Iraq as a heroic, historic figure. In order to effect that change, he needed to sideline the Ba‘th, remove all potential rivals, and eliminate even the appearance of rivalry. In order to secure his subjects’ obedience, while being unwilling to offer much in the way of preferential benefits, Saddam came to rely more and more on fear, and this contributed greatly to his increasingly-violent behavior at home and abroad. We can say with some justification, then, that a long war with Iran and two wars with a US-led coalition, as well as hundreds of thousands killed directly by the régime and a pervasive level of fear and suffering inflicted by the régime, all since 1979, were the price Iraqis paid for Saddam to discard the Ba‘thist myth in favor of a singularly-Saddamist myth.


1. The exchange between the narrator and Mein Herr in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Sylvie and Bruno concluded’ illustrates this issue well:

      “... And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!”
      “Have you used it much?” I enquired.
      “It has never been spread out, yet,” said Mein Herr: “the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well. ...” [Chapter 11, ‘The man in the moon’]

2. My critique of Wintrobe’s theory is contained in an earlier paper (linked).

3. It seems reasonable to me not to distinguish between those in government and those outside, as government is generally so much more powerful than any private individuals. This is due to the greater size of the authority components of power, relative to resources, and the potentially-greater size of institutional versus personal power. To use an example from a democracy, Bill Gates’ wealth simply doesn’t compare to Barack Obama’s institutional authority. Of course, with a higher willingness (wra), Gates could possibly spend his way into political power, though Obama’s inalienable personal resources and personal authority provide him with advantages that Gates possibly could not match with all his wealth.

4. When Columbia University president Lee Bollinger lectured Mahmud Ahmedi Nežad by calling him a dictator, he was attempting to save himself from further embarrassment; but the dictator in Iran would be Ali Khamenei.

5. It remains my belief that minority rule must always be supported by falsehood, and that the rational citizen, who might choose to obey majority rule, would never go along with minority rule. I should have clarified, though, that this refers to the choice as might be made before the application of the strategies of co-optation and coercion. It would be perfectly rational for a citizen to accept minority rule after being bribed or threatened, but not before.

6. Francisco Franco intended Juan Carlos de Borbón to rule Spain, but Juan Carlos instead yielded power to parliament.

7. Or conventionally translated so; the terms are ambiguous enough in English, and we cannot take for granted that glosses are reliable indicators of meaning.

8. Based on Lust-Okar’s description, Jordanian parliamentarians may be a good example of subject beneficiaries, who have no real say in the government’s policy, and are not taken in by the régime’s public myth, but participate in the régime’s governing actions because of benefits they receive above and beyond public goods, including the ability to assist chosen citizens, and to be recognized for assisting chosen citizens.

9. In part, the Bueno de Mesquita et al. concept of the selectorate is as artificial and mythbound as the systems they are attempting to describe; in other words, if the Soviet Union pretends that every adult resident has full citizenship and an equal say in who rules, then Bueno de Mesquita et al. will dutifully mark each adult as a member of the selectorate, even when the person has no chance of influence on the government. At the very least, the selectorate must have been confined to the party for the term to be meaningful, but the authors state explicitly that “the selectorate arguably equaled the adult population of citizens” [p54]. There should be nothing arguable about it; it is their model, and if they understand the Soviet Union, then it is their pronouncement alone that tells us who was in the selectorate. Indeed, it is such pronouncements that are being used to clarify the concept. And so the following point, that in rigged systems the selectorate is large, the winning coalition is small, and some additional privilege is needed to be “chosen” for the winning coalition, undermines their definitions of selectorate and winning coalition. If only certain people matter, then those people are the selectorate; a winning coalition is the right assembly of those people, and not any number, however large, of the others.

10. That the guards’ arms are alienable resources is important; if the opposition seizes a few it will be in a position to quickly seize more, and the more willing some members of the opposition are to sacrifice themselves, the more likely they are to overpower a few armed guards and take their weapons.

11. Here I am referring to organizations that do not use governmental terms but have governmental functions, the paradigm being the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

12. One lie that régimes do not attempt is that of immortality. I judge it therefore fully compatible with even the most personalist of myths to have provision for succession at the leader’s death. Therefore, to the extent that he trusted his family (he at least trusted them more than any others) and wanted one of his sons to succeed him (perhaps originally not determined, but eventually Qusay), it would be reasonable for him to provide for that succession by granting the heir some independent power base, so that, on his death, the heir becomes the only person with an independent power base, as well as the inheritor of the régime myth, and thus assumes power, not because other régime retainers want him to, but because all of them fear to oppose him.

13. Kanan Makiya’s theme is fear, of course. Bowden also captures the new spirit of the times with an anecdote about security forces who informed a construction crew that Saddam wanted a structure finished the next day. This was meant as a threat, obviously, but tellingly, the security forces immediately placed themselves at the service of the construction foreman so that they, too, would not be faced with the dreadful consequences.


Saïd K. Aburish. ‘How Saddam Hussein came to power’, p41-72 in Turi Munthe, ed.
Mark Bowden. ‘Tales of the tyrant: the private life and inner world of Saddam Hussein’, p35- in the Atlantic Monthly, v289 n5 (2002 May). Accessed
British Broadcasting Corporation. ‘Russian MPs caught in voting scandal’. Accessed online.
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow. ‘The logic of political survival’. MIT, 2003.
Lewis Carroll. ‘Sylvie and Bruno concluded’. Accessed online.
Abel Escribà-Folch and Joseph G. Wright. ‘Dealing with tyranny: international sanctions and autocrats’ duration’. Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internationals, working paper 2008/16.
Marion Farouk-Sluglett and Peter Sluglett. ‘Iraq since 1958: from revolution to dictatorship’. KPI, 1987.
Barbara Geddes. (1993) ‘What do we know about democratization after twenty years?’, p115-44 in the Annual Review of Political Science, v2 (1993).
—————. (2005) ‘Authoritarian breakdown’. Unpublished manuscript, 2005 March.
J.B. Jeyaretnam. ‘The hatchet man of Singapore’. Jeya, 2003.
Ellen Lust-Okar. ‘Elections under authoritarianism: preliminary lessons from Jordan’, p456-71 in Democratization, v13 n3 (2006 June).
Doug McAdam. ‘Political process and the development of black insurgency’. University of Chicago, 1990.
John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald. ‘Resource mobilization and social movements: a partial theory’, p1212-41 in the American Journal of Sociology, v82 n6 (1977 May).
Kanan Makiya (Samir al-Khalil). ‘Republic of fear: the politics of modern Iraq’. University of California, 1989.
Turi Munthe, ed. ‘The Saddam Hussein reader’. Thunder’s Mouth, 2002.
Mancur Olson. ‘Dictatorship, democracy, and development’, p567-76 in the American Political Science Review, v87 n3 (1993 September).
Susan L. Shirk. ‘The political logic of economic reform in China’. University of California, 1993.
Milan Svolik. ‘A theory of leadership dynamics in authoritarian regimes’. Unpublished manuscript, 2005 November.
Sidney Tarrow. ‘Power in movement’, second edition. Cambridge, 1998.
Raj Vasil. ‘Governing Singapore: a history of national development and democracy’. Allen and Unwin, 2000.
Ronald Wintrobe. ‘The political economy of dictatorship’. Cambridge University, 1998.



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