Regime Stability in Anocracies: The Role of Special Economic Zones

DOI10.1177/0973598415627889
Date01 December 2015
Published date01 December 2015
Subject MatterArticles
Article
1
Department of Political Science, Walker Institute of International and Area Studies,
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.
Corresponding author:
Clay Robert Fuller, 817 Henderson Street, Gambrell Hall, Suite 251, Columbia, SC
29208, USA.
E-mail: fullercr@email.sc.edu
Regime Stability in
Anocracies: The Role
of Special Economic
Zones
Clay Robert Fuller1
Abstract
In the two decades since Fukuyama’s famous claim of an ‘end of history,’
the number of democratic regimes increased and the number of auto-
cratic regimes decreased, but the number of anocracies – mixed or insti-
tutionally inconsistent regimes – remains the same or slightly higher.
This article presents a theory of institutionally inconsistent regime
stability. Stability in all regimes is due to reinforcing and consistent insti-
tutional structures that create self-enforcing equilibria, which in turn
induces elites to work together towards regime stability. The use of
special economic zones (SEZs) in institutionally inconsistent anocra-
cies allow the existing elite to prescreen and preselect new members
in the winning coalition, thus creating a more consistent institutional
environment in which elites are more likely to work together. Elites are
chosen based upon 1) potential economic contribution and 2) potential
to challenge the existing political order. This study empirically examines
the role of special economic zones (SEZs) – geographically restricted
investment areas with special benefits. SEZs allow for preselection and
screening through the offer of special benefits and the negotiation of
contracts. I use an original set of SEZ panel data covering 160 countries
from 1995–2010 to examine regime stability. I first use a fixed effects
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
19(2) 85–105
2015 Jadavpur University
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0973598415627889
http://jnr.sagepub.com
86 Jadavpur Journal of International Relations 19(2)
model to confirm that autocracies and democracies are more stable than
anocracies. I then use a Heckman selection model to examine the inter-
action between SEZs and regime types. I find evidence that the use of
SEZs in anocracies significantly increases regime stability and marginally
decreases it in autocracies.
Keywords
Autocracy, anocracy, special economic zones, regime stability
In the two decades since Fukuyama’s (1992) famous claim of an “end of
history,” the number of democratic regimes increased and the number
of autocratic regimes decreased, but the number of anocracies—mixed
or institutionally inconsistent regimes—remains the same or slightly
higher. This article presents a theory of institutionally inconsistent
regime stability. Gates et al. (2006) focus on the ideal types of institu-
tionally consistent autocracy and institutionally consistent democracy,
presenting a theoretical explanation of stability due to reinforcement
and consistent institutional structures that create self-enforcing equi-
libria. These self-enforcing equilibria induce elites to work together
toward regime stability. Their theory further posits that extremely heter-
ogeneous anocracies are the least stable because inconsistent political
institutions work against such self-enforcing equilibria and find
evidence among the polities of the world from 1800 to 2000. If anocra-
cies are indeed the least stable regime grouping, then why do we observe
remarkable stability among many inconsistent institutional settings
(i.e., Singapore, Russia, and Jordan)?
Anocracies can be described as institutionally incoherent, inconsist-
ent, mixed, or hybrid regimes that occupy the middle range between
democracy and autocracy in the Polity2 measure (usually marked as 5
to +5 in the 10 to +10 scale) or the “partly free” category between
“free” and “not-free” in the highly correlated Freedom House data. They
contain part democratic institutional structures and part autocratic insti-
tutional structures. These institutional political structures traditionally
pertain to things, such as executive recruitment, executive constraints,
and political participation. There are wide varieties of potential institu-
tional configurations that can comprise an institutionally inconsistent
regime (Gates et al. 2006). For example, Gandhi and Vreeland (2004)
find eleven different possible institutional configurations in the Polity
data that will result in a middle score of “0.”

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT