Selecting the Electorate

Disenfranchisement and Selective Voter Registration in Electoral Autocracies




electoral autocracy, inclusiveness, legitimation, political freedoms, disenfranchisement


Autocrats utilize (nominally) democratic elections, to claim procedural legitimation. To secure their political survival in these elections, they have an extensive menu of manipulation at their disposal. These manipulations are not only addressed at contestation but also inclusiveness of the elections. Although autocrats formally claim universal suffrage, informal restrictions and practices are implemented. Analyzing elections held between 1970 and 2020 in electoral autocracies, I find empiric evidence for strategic adjustments of suffrage rights as a response to electoral contexts.

Author Biography

Kristin Eichhorn, Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau

Kristin Eichhorn has recently successfully defended her PhD at Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). She is currently affiliated with the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau (Germany). Her research interests include authoritarian regimes, elections and transformations. Her work has been published in, amongst others, Political Studies, Demokratizatsiya and German Politics.


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How to Cite

Eichhorn, K. (2023). Selecting the Electorate: Disenfranchisement and Selective Voter Registration in Electoral Autocracies. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 55, 63–83.



Research notes