Elite Political Dynamics in Electoral Autocracies (ELITE)

Led by Haakon Gjerløw

Sep 2021 – Jun 2025

​How can we better understand the rank-and-file of political elites in electoral autocracies, and how their strategic interaction affects the overall political system and societal outcomes?

​The primary goal for ELITE is to produce theoretical insights and empirical knowledge on the conditions under which political elites in electoral autocracies strengthen accountability and representation. By focusing on the behaviour of rank-and-file elites in electoral autocracies, the team will investigate: 

  • conditions that increase (dis)unity within and between parliamentary parties, and by extension accountability between the parliament and the executive branch; 
  • conditions that enable judges in electoral autocracies to safeguard and expand judicial independence; 
  • conditions under which political elites in electoral autocracies opt to promote human development. 

A secondary objective for ELITE is to establish an in-depth database on a political autocracy, Zambia, most thorough dataset on any (a) electoral autocracy, and (b) any political system on the African continent, covering the all central political and judicial institutions.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway.

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