Propaganda in Autocracies: Institutions, Information, and the Politics of Belief

(With Erin Baggott Carter.) 2023. Cambridge University Press.

"Informing (and misinforming) citizens to make them believe in the unassailability of autocratic rule is one of the fundamental chores of any tyrant. Employing an astonishing wealth of data and ingenious methods, Propaganda in Autocracies reveals when, how and with what consequences autocracies do that. This is an amazing book soon to be seen as a classic in the literature on authoritarianism."

Carles Boix

Robert Garrett Professor of Politics and Public Affairs

Princeton University


"In this work of audacious scope, brilliant methodology, and profound insight, Erin Baggott Carter and Brett L. Carter restore the struggle to shape citizens’ beliefs to a central place in the comparative politics of authoritarianism. With mountains of compelling logic and evidence, they show how autocrats who face electoral constraints must—at some risk—use propaganda more credibly to persuade rather than dominate. Propaganda in Autocracies is a work of prodigious research and lucid theorizing that is indispensable to understanding the contemporary dynamics of authoritarian rule."

Larry Diamond

Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy

Stanford University

Inside Dictatorship: Subverting Democracy in Post-Cold War Africa

  • Manuscript review conference: January 2022

  • Anticipated submission to publisher: November 2022

  • Book proposal and annotated table of contents available here


The Mpila Roundabout, outside DSN's private Brazzaville compound. "Never Again."