Repression as a Double-edged Sword: Resilient Monarchs, Repression and Revolution in the Arab World

2015 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Repression as a Double-edged Sword: Resilient Monarchs, Repression and Revolution in the Arab World​
Bischof, D. & Fink, S. ​ (2015) 
Swiss Political Science Review21(3) pp. 377​-395​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/spsr.12169 

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Authors
Bischof, Daniel; Fink, Simon 
Abstract
The Arab world shows a puzzling variation of political violence. The region's monarchies often remain quiet, while other autocracies witness major upheaval. Institutional explanations of this variation suggest that monarchical rule solves the ruler's credible commitment problems and prevents elite splits. This article argues that institutional explanations neglect the role of repression: Increasing the scope of repression raises the costs of rebellion and deters rebels. However, the deterrence effect disappears if repression is used indiscriminately. If remaining peaceful offers no benefits, repression creates new rebels instead of deterring them. A time-series-cross-section analysis of repression and political violence in the Middle East and North Africa corroborates our argument and shows the u-curve relation between repression and violence. Once we control for repression, monarchies have no special effect anymore. Thus, our article addresses the discussion about monarchical exceptionalism, and offers an explanation why repression deters as well as incites political violence.
Issue Date
2015
Journal
Swiss Political Science Review 
Organization
Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät ; Institut für Politikwissenschaft ; Arbeitsbereich Politisches System der BRD 
Language
English
Research data
https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/LIUJ4K

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