Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Nicholas Rush Smith

Third Advisor

Professor Nicholas Rush Smith


autrocities, regime, voters, economic growth, Turkey, Russia, Venezuela


This study offers an explanation of why voters repeatedly choose leaders who came to power democratically at some point but will not abandon it when they ought to. Research shows leaders will employ any and every mechanism to remain in power, from restricting liberties to turning to violence as a method of repressing dissidence yet voters continue to vote them back into power. Why? Through an examination of the current situations in Venezuela, Turkey and Russia, the thesis reveals that economic performance provides the key explanation. If the country provides welfare to its citizens, they will be willing to overlook other “minor” factors.



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