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The Toppler Effect : irregular leader transitions and the rate of state failure recovery

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dc.contributor.advisor Fotini Christia. en_US Wahedi, Laila A en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. en_US 2012-01-30T17:06:40Z 2012-01-30T17:06:40Z 2011 en_US 2011 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M. and S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science; and, (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2011. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 81-86). en_US
dc.description.abstract State failure is becoming increasingly prevalent across the globe, creating human suffering, black markets, lost economic opportunities, and safe havens for militant actors. It is imperative that the international community find a way to combat state failure. This study investigates the effects of irregular leadership transitions on state failure recovery. Irregular leadership transitions occur when the executive of a state comes to power through unconstitutional means. Regular leaders are more likely than irregular leaders to have personal experience as a ruler, beneficial domestic and international ties, and familiarity among the population. Irregular transitions may damage bureaucracies, damaging government functionality and halting development projects that had already been underway. Regular leaders benefit from a legacy that was likely able to pass spoils onto an elite group. This elite group is likely to resist relative losses to power more than lower status groups would fight to gain power because of the cognitive principles of risk aversion, and the sensitivity to status inherent to social identity theory. Regular leaders also have traditional legitimacy, while irregular leaders are more likely to have to gain legitimacy. State failure and failure recovery are overdetermined, so it is impossible to be able to confidently determine the direction of causal flow. Every determinant of failure is related to every other, and it is difficult to separate their effects. The role of leadership regularity is therefore investigated as a proxy that can predict variation on the rate of failure recovery. The quantitative analysis consisted of multi and bivariate regressions investigating the effects of leadership regularity on failure duration, as well as the relative explanatory power held by several factors associated with leadership regularity. Robustness checks were performed using Bayesian statistics, and survival analyses. Irregular leadership transitions were found to predict a roughly five year increase in state failure duration. The Afghan Civil War was used as an illustrative case, describing the ways in which Daoud, Taraki, Amin, Karmal, Massoud, Hekmatyar, and Mullah Omar all overcame, or failed to overcome, different obstacles associated with their irregularity and how these obstacles affected their relative levels of success attempting to extend governance. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Laila A. Wahedi. en_US
dc.format.extent 94 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Political Science. en_US
dc.subject Brain and Cognitive Sciences. en_US
dc.title The Toppler Effect : irregular leader transitions and the rate of state failure recovery en_US
dc.title.alternative Irregular leader transitions and the rate of state failure recovery en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.B. en_US S.M.and S.B. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 773931595 en_US

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