Economic Theory of Autocracy and Revolution (SS 2018)








Tag Zeit Häufigkeit Datum Raum
Freitag 09:00- 17:00 Uhr Einzeltermin 27.04.2018 Scharnhorststr. 100, SCH 100.107
Samstag 09:00- 17:00 Uhr Einzeltermin 28.04.2018 Scharnhorststr. 100, SCH 100.107


Registration and assignment of topics:

An introductory meeting will take place on February 9, 2018 at 10 a.m. in room SCH 100.107 (Scharnhorststr. 100). The teaching team will present the seminar topics and the organizational structure. Participation in the first meeting is mandatory to enroll for the class. To register for the seminar, students need to send an email to by February 15, 2018 at the latest, including two preferences for a seminar topic. The final decision on the assignment of the topics to the participating students will be announced on February 19, 2018. By this date, the writing time begins.

Additional registration for the seminar is required at the examination office (Prüfungsamt) for the early deadline of the summer term 2018.

Topics will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Apolte ( and Kim Leonie Kellermann ( ). Students should arrange at least one meeting to discuss the structure of the paper. The outline and structure of the paper should be sent to the supervisors via e-mail beforehand.


The course language is English.



Important Dates:

Note: Rooms and dates might be subject to change.

Introductory meeting:                   February 9, 2018, 10 - 11 a.m. in room 100.107, Scharnhorststraße 100 

Dates of seminar:                         April 27, 2018, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in room 100.107

                                                   April 28, 2018, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in room 100.107

Submission date for papers:          April 16, 2018 (no later than 12 a.m.)



Course Focus:

Public Choice Theory has spent a great deal of effort in analyzing voting rules as the central mechanism for preference revelation and government control in democratic regimes. Apart from some early contributions, however, Public Choice Theory has long ignored control mechanisms in autocracies, the counterparts of democracies. Only recently have a number of authors taken a broader range of political regimes into consideration. One of the central questions has been as to how, if any, public control of governments is conducted in comparative political regimes and what the resulting effects on economic development and prosperity are to be expected. Since public control of governments via voting is not effective in autocracies, coups d’états or revolutions and hence political violence, or the threat thereof, are the only available mechanisms for keeping dictators in check. In our seminar, we will discuss a selection of seminal publications around the relation of political violence and autocracy, particularly the effects of potential or manifest political violence on the control or overthrow of autocratic regimes with respect to a country’s prosperity.


  • Professor Dr. Thomas Apolte (verantwortlich)
  • Kim Leonie Kellermann (verantwortlich)