Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

WCED Roundtable Discussion. The Birth and Death of Dictatorships

Adam E. Casey, Erica De Bruin, Dan Slater, Megan A. Stewart, Lucan A. Way
Thursday, September 22, 2022
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 555 Weiser Hall Map
Recent scholarship has drawn attention to how the origins of authoritarian regimes shape their long-run trajectories. Bringing together a diverse set of experts on authoritarian regimes, this roundtable highlights recent scholarship on the consequences of regime origins for the consolidation and collapse of dictatorships.

Adam E. Casey's research broadly considers the relationship between dictators and their armed forces. He is currently working on two book manuscripts he will develop as a postdoctoral fellow. The first considers the relationship between foreign support and authoritarian rule. His second book project (with Dan Slater and Jean Lachapelle) considers the origins of military political power in the postcolonial world. In particular, this project investigates why some militaries have come to dominate their polities, while others have been tightly controlled by political leadership. Casey received his PhD in political science from the University of Toronto in 2020.

Erica De Bruin's research focuses on civil-military relations, civil-war, and policing. She is the author of How to Prevent Coups d’état: Counterbalancing and Regime Survival (Cornell University Press, 2020). At Hamilton, Dr. De Bruin directs the Program on Justice and Security at the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center. She received a PhD from Yale University in 2014.

Dan Slater specializes in the politics and history of enduring dictatorships and emerging democracies, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. His research interests include comparative politics, international relations, world politics, and methodology. He is the author of From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia (Princeton University Press, 2022), Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and co-editor of Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis (Stanford University Press, 2008).

Megan A. Stewart's research interests focus on explaining variation in how changes to social, economic, and political hierarchies—especially across racial, gender, class, or religious/ethnic lines—are attempted and achieved, and how war or political violence is often the context or consequence of such endeavors. She explores questions related to this topic using quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methods. Stewart is the author of Governing for Revolution: Social Transformations in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2021), in which she explains why some rebel groups undertake complex and challenging wartime projects to transform social orders by altering hierarchies of power, while most other rebel groups do not.

Lucan A. Way's research focuses on global patterns of democracy and dictatorship. His forthcoming book (with Steven Levitsky), Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism (Princeton University Press), provides a comparative historical explanation for the extraordinary durability of autocracies (China, Cuba, USSR) born of violent social revolution. Way’s solo-authored book, Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015), examines the sources of political competition in the former Soviet Union. Way argues that pluralism in the developing world often emerges out of authoritarian weakness: governments are too fragmented and states too weak to monopolize political control.

This lecture will be presented in person in 555 Weiser Hall and on Zoom. Webinar registration required at:

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: democracy, international
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, International Institute

International Institute Programming

The International Institute’s centers sponsor numerous conferences, lectures, exhibits, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to educate the university community and the public about global issues and inspire discussion and dialogue. 

Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter.