Constitutional Transitions

Ilya Somin isomin at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Aug 31 18:33:59 PDT 2005


I agree with regards to situations where the transition is negotiated with
the previous dictator. However, Lee fought until his army was completely
surrounded and on the brink of destruction and Davis only "surrendered"
when he was physically captured by  Union forces (a bit like Saddam,
though slightly more dignified).

Ilya Somin



On Wed, 31 Aug 2005, Mark Graber wrote:

> What what it is worth, I have a graduate student doing a dissertation
> that maintains that assuring the safety of desposed leaders is crucial
> to democratic transitions, that autocrats tend not to give up power
> unless they are assured that they will be allowed to live the rest of
> their lives undisturbed.  So in this vein, consider whether Lee and
> Davis would have adopted different strategies in April 1865 had they
> believed surrender meant death.
>
> There, of course, may be an imposed democracy exception.  Namely when an
> outside army imposes order, perhaps lopping off lots of heads may work,
> though I have not seen good historican evidence on this.
>
> Mark A. Graber
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