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2 - A Theory of Judicial Repression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2022

Fiona Feiang Shen-Bayh
Affiliation:
College of William and Mary, Virginia
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Summary

This chapter develops a theory of judicial repression to explain when, where, and why autocrats use courts to punish rivals. My central claim is that judicial punishment enforces obedience where power is contested. By invoking the proceedings of court, autocrats show the consequences of defying authority through judicial spectacle, displays which can enforce obedience and dissuade dissent. I argue that this process is particularly useful when confronting threats to regime cohesion. I then explain how the effectiveness of this strategy requires a cooperative judiciary and explore what measures autocrats can undertake to minimize the risk of judicial rebellion.

Type
Chapter
Information
Undue Process
Persecution and Punishment in Autocratic Courts
, pp. 26 - 53
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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