Autocratic political cycle and international conflict

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reveals a temporal pattern of conflict behavior over the course of autocratic leaders’ tenure. By identifying a commonly observed domestic political cycle in autocracies, I discuss how the level of domestic constraints on autocrats’ conflict behavior changes over time in three distinct periods: (1) power struggle in the early period of tenure; (2) power consolidation; and (3) power dissipation in the later period of power transition. The empirical analysis on autocratic conflict cycle reveals that the likelihood of autocratic crisis initiation significantly increases during the early years of autocratic leadership tenure, after which it moderately decreases over time. This finding suggests that autocrats’ tenure is a substantively important predictor of autocratic leaders’ conflict behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-279
Number of pages21
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Autocracy
  • conflict
  • leader
  • tenure


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