Paul Collier propose un petit guide du dictateur qui permet de comprendre pourquoi les élections dans les pays les plus pauvres sont souvent une mascarade :
« In the average election held among the bottom billion poorest of the world’s population, despite the fact that voters usually have many grounds for complaint, the incumbent “wins” a healthy 74 percent of the vote. In elections with particularly weak restraints, it is an even healthier 88 percent. Somehow or other, incumbents in these societies are very good at winning elections.
The dread shown by the Soviet authorities to any form of competitive election has confused us into thinking that achieving a competitive election is in itself the key triumph. The reality is that rigging elections is not daunting: Only the truly paranoid dictators avoid them anymore ».
On pourrait appeler ce type d’exercice « économie politique (néo-)réaliste »…