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Springboard Model of Dictatorship

Traditional approaches to understanding dictators and dictatorship have focused heavily on personality traits. The main question addressed in these studies has been “What are the personality characteristics of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Ruhollah Khomeini, Vladimir Putin, and other dictators?” In contrast, the springboard model of dictatorship gives priority to the conditions in which a potential dictator “springs” to power. This model asserts a reciprocal relationship between the availability of a dictatorial leader and certain situational factors (the “springboard”) that “launch” the dictator. Dictatorship is defined in the model as rule by a single person or a clique whose power is not attained through free and fair elections by the subject population and who cannot be removed through popular election; with direct control of the security ...

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