The agricultural policies chosen by autocratic governments have a significant effect on authoritarian regime durability. They do so by helping these governments resolve distributional conflicts between farmers and food consumers, and co-opt threatening elite factions and groups within society at large. In this dissertation, I make the case that authoritarian regime durability and agricultural policy are linked in a feedback loop: policy is made in response to political threats, and goes on to have a significant mitigating effect on these threats and contribute to the durability of authoritarian regimes. I argue that, contrary to established wisdom, agricultural policy-making under authoritarian regimes is as much about placating rural elites as it is about providing cheap food for the urban masses. I use case studies to show that authoritarian leaders such as Chancellor Bismarck in 1870s Germany and Tun Abdul Razak in 1970s Malaysia have used rural-biased policies which increase the price of food to co-opt rural elites and prevent authoritarian regime instability. I use cross-national statistical analysis to show that after accounting for the threats of rural elites, long-standing findings on the pervasiveness of urban bias under authoritarianism need to be amended in order to account for the possibility of rural-biased agricultural policies under governments facing political threats from rural elites.