Comparative politics seminar with Anders Sundell

CVAP and the comparative politics group are happy to host a seminar with rising star, Anders Sundell, from Gothenburg University. Building on ancient work from our own Kurrild-Klitgaard and an earlier piece of his, published in the APSR, Anders explores the link between state formation, forms of leadership succession, and war. It is an extremely ambitious project that combines archival work, data collection, quant, and historical sociology. It is joint work with Andrej Kokkonen, who recently joined the faculty at Aarhus.

" Political Succession and War in Europe, 1000-1799"

The political succession is a perennial source of instability in autocratic regimes. Despite this, it has remained a curiously undertheorized and understudied phenomenon in political science. In this paper, we compile a comprehensive dataset on war in Europe and combine it with a dataset on the fate of kings in 25 states over 800 years to investigate how ruler changes affected the risk of war. We exploit the natural deaths of rulers to identify exogenous variation, and find that a ruler death substantially increased the risk of civil war; the risk could however be mitigated by the practice of primogeniture. Leader deaths furthermore increased the risk of attack from foreign enemies, but also the chance that ongoing wars would end. Our results point to the importance of leadership succession and the institutions governing it for political stability in non-democratic regimes.

As you know, the modern state was forged in iron and blood. So, There Will be Blood. But also sandwhiches. And, since it is December 1, there will be pebernødder as well.

Please sign up by mail to Jacob Gerner Hariri before 12:00, Tuesday November 29, if you want to come.