A Simple Model of Repression and Revolt in Autocracies Applied to the Arab Spring
41 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 4, 2012
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: Suggested Citation