Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Dr. Menaldo spoke on Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy

October 30th, 2018

Dr. Victor Menaldo, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, presented his book, Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy, as part of the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research and the Stone Center’s Critical Issues in Democratic Governance fall speaker series. In the book, co-authored with University of Chicago associate professor Michael Albertus, Menaldo and Albertus attempt to explain the effect of autocratic legacies on the development of democracy. Dividing democracies into two categories, elite biased democracies (those with a constitution written under autocratic rule) and popular democracies, Menaldo argues that democratic institutions designed under authoritarian rule will favor elites. Due to lower social spending, these elite biased democracies are less equal than popular democracies. If Albertus and Menaldo’s analysis is correct, that elite biased democratic revolutions are more likely to succeed than popular revolutions, there are extensive implications for democracy’s ability to produce more egalitarian societies.

Join us for the next speaker, October 16 at 4pm, as Dr. Katrina Burgess (Tufts) gives a lecture entitled, Courting Migrants: How States Make Diasporas and Diasporas Make States