Throughout history, Rulers have always faced challenges to their rule. These challenges came either from outside aggressors, popular uprisings or Elite conspiracies. The ability of Rulers to respond to these challenges has varied a lot across countries and across time. In our EDI working Paper “A Theory of Power Structure and Institutional Compatibility: China vs. Europe Revisited”, we propose a theory of power structure based on the relative powers of three main actors: the Ruler, the Elite and the People. Our theory is based on two important variables:
- the absolute power of the Ruler,
- the level of asymmetry in the power and rights of the Elite vs. the ordinary People.