A Simple Model of Repression and Revolt in Autocracies Applied to the Arab Spring

41 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2012

See all articles by Mario Gilli

Mario Gilli

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Date Written: June 4, 2012

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a specific point of view on the protests that have characterized the Arab countries from December 2010 and are still going on. To understand some of the reasons behind these events, I propose a sequential game with asymmetric information on the likelihood of having a successful uprising. This means that on one hand the government choices may signal the true state of nature and on the other hand the citizens’ choices are a way to learn the truth. The model is simple and I assume specific parameters’ values to obtain a full characterization of the set of equilibria. This full characterization shows the interaction of three main factors in determining the possible resulting political regimes: the country’s wealth, the autocratic institutions and the general political mood. The complex interaction of these three variables explain why apparently heterogeneous countries may have similar political processes and apparently similar countries have different political situations.

Keywords: protest, repression, autocracy

JEL Classification: D74, N45

Suggested Citation

Gilli, Mario, A Simple Model of Repression and Revolt in Autocracies Applied to the Arab Spring (June 4, 2012). CISEPS Research Paper No. 3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2075214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2075214

Mario Gilli (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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