Tanja Eschenauer

Tanja Eschenauer
Universität Heidelberg · Institute of Political Science

PhD student


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Tanja Eschenauer currently works at the Institute of Political Science, Universität Heidelberg. Tanja does research in Comparative Politics, Civil-Military Relations and Autocracy Research. Her current projects are 'Media and Militaries' and '"Disaggregating Military Coups'.


Publications (5)
In nonviolent mass protests against dictators, the military is the ultimate arbiter of regime survival. Drawing on a global survey of forty "dictator's endgames" from 1946 to 2014, this essay examines how dictators and their militaries respond to popular protests, and what the consequences are in terms of the survival of authoritarianism or the eme...
This article introduces a configurative theory to explain military reactions to nonviolent mass protests in dictatorships. An empirical analysis of three cases of such “dictators endgames” (Burma in 1988, Sudan in 1985, and East Germany in 1989), shows that militaries will defend the dictator against the masses if the military leadership’s physical...
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Our contribution aims to shed light onto two sets of questions for comparative study of autocratic regimes. First, how can different roles of the armed forces in authoritarian politics be conceptualized and measured, and are there different patterns of military influence across autocracies? Second, do different political roles of the armed forces h...
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Have militaries become tired of interfering in politics? The declining number of military regimes and military coups implies a decrease in the influence of armed forces on political regimes. Yet, case and area studies underline that militaries still exert considerable influence on politics all over the world. This research note addresses this appar...


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Projects (2)
Introduce and compare methods and datasets in studying military roles.
International security cooperation of autocracies shape and guide regimes’ actions in the international arena. Since autocracy research only recently turned to the international dimension of authoritarian rule, we still lack systematic knowledge on drivers of authoritarian security cooperation. In this paper, we look at vertical crises, that is mass protests, as drivers of increased international security cooperation of autocracies, and the factors that explain different forms of autocratic cooperation. As a first test of our arguments, look at security cooperation before and after vertical crises on a global scale. Second, we explore the causal mechanisms behind security cooperation by looking at two cases in the MENA region. The findings provide first support that autocracies do indeed extend efforts of international security cooperation, and that regimes sharing multiple interests are more likely to engage and extent security cooperation.