Researchers measure regime stability in autocratic contexts using a variety of data sources that capture distinct concepts. Often this research uses concepts developed for the study of democratic politics, such as leadership change or institutionalized authority, to construct measures of regime breakdown in non-democratic contexts. This article assesses whether the measure a researcher chooses influences the results they obtain by examining data on executive leadership, political authority, and autocratic regimes. We illustrate the conceptual differences between these variables by extending recent studies in the literature on the political consequences of non-tax revenue and unearned foreign income.
- Political instability
- Political regimes