Repression, regime, mobilization, wealth and protest: a statistical cross-national study 1990-2004
Onursal, Deren (2018) Repression, regime, mobilization, wealth and protest: a statistical cross-national study 1990-2004. [Thesis]
What are the motives behind protests and what factors increases (decreases) the total number of protests countries experience? Previous empirical studies have explored protest’s relationship with state repression, regime type, mobilization and wealth. However, they have provided conflicting explanations and theories that are antithetical to one another. Within the rational actor and value-expectancy frameworks, this thesis aims to analyze causes of protests across countries from 1990 to 2004. It concludes that (i) repression and protest have a dynamic relationship when regime type is included as a conditioning factor. The interaction of both independent variables in a multivariate regression test evinces that high level of repression has a deterring effect on the total number of protests if the regime is autocracy and an increasing effect if the regime is a democracy or full democracy. Moreover, (ii) constraints on freedom of media and domestic movement damage mobilization of the dissident and conduce to fewer protest activities. (iii) Contrary to the theories of deprivation, this study infers that nations will be more inclined to protest as per capita wealth increases. Ultimately, (iv) results reveal that components of democracy – the absence of repression, media and domestic movement freedoms – vary within democracies, indicating that some of our definition and measurements of regime types suffer from conceptual stretching and should be revised.
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