Working Papers

Are some autocracies more likely to be pressured by the international community towards democratization than others? And are those regimes more likely to democratize? This article argues that “economic clout” is a crucial factor in determining whether the international community will apply democratic sanctions to an autocracy after a “trigger event” such as a pro-democratization protest. Economic clout is defined as the extent of economic influence over the international community by an autocratic regime. High levels of economic clout (HEC) prompt international trade partners not to pressure the regime to democratize in order to maintain the favorable economic status quo that allows them to benefit from the economic gains from trade with the autocracy, thus not incurring in extra costs. By employing an innovative staggered Difference-in-Differences design with a multi-value treatment, this article provides strong empirical evidence that this selection effect has consequences for the democratization prospects of autocracies.

  • The Dominance of Women Leaders and the Far-Right: Causes and Consequences

  • Homo Sovieticus or Homo Economicus? Measuring the Impact of Indoctrination and Welfare Redistribution on the Vote for Communism in Russia

  • Authoritarian Rule and Party System Fragmentation (with Elias Dinas and Ksenia Northmore-Ball)

  • Rent-Seeking and Public Investment Choices (with André Azevedo Alves)
Book Chapter
  • Azevedo Alves, André, and Catarina Leão. “Controlo Democrático do Orçamento.” In Orçamento, Economia e Democracia: Uma Proposta de Arquitectura Institicional, edited by Abel Mateus, 271-296. Lisbon: Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, 2018.
  • Leão, Catarina, “About Tradition in Karl Popper: Does a Popperian Open Society require a grounding in a Shared Tradition?”, Nova Cidadania, Spring 2014, no. 52.