Book Review: The Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box: Electoral Manipulation, Economic Maneuvering, and Political Order in Autocracies
Summary In February 2023, a book review written by Dr. Yujin Woo, GGR researcher and assistant professor at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law, was published in Governance. She reviews The Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box: Electoral Manipulation, Economic Maneuvering, and Political Order in Autocracies by Masaaki Higashijima, associate professor at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Information Sciences. In this book, Professor Higashijima introduces the concept of “electoral dilemma” and uses this to explain the role that elections play in an authoritarian regime and how the balance of transparency and opacity of elections plays into the survival of the regime. Professor Woo praises the author for broadening our understanding of authoritarianism by building a unified theory that takes into consideration various dimensions and tools for analyzing political regimes. However, she signifies that there is a need for further research into various aspects related to this book, such as the relationship between media and blatant electoral fraud across democracies and autocracies.