Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2142721
 


 



Crisis, Coercion, and Authoritarian Durability: Explaining Diverging Responses to Anti-Regime Protest in Egypt and Iran


Jean Lachapelle


University of Toronto

Lucan A. Way


University of Toronto

Steven Levitsky


Harvard University

2012

Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 31 August 2012

Abstract:     
Focusing on Iran in 2009 and Egypt in 2011, this paper examines the role of the coercive apparatus in responding to crises triggered by mass anti-regime protest. We argue that the divergent outcomes of the two crises – authoritarian resilience in Iran and regime breakdown in Egypt – can be traced to the regimes’ distinct origins. On the one hand, the Iranian Islamic regime’s founding in sustained, violent, and ideologically driven struggle (1978-1983) created a regime elite and coercive apparatus with the stomach and capacity for high intensity coercion necessary to defend the regime against mass-based threats. Revolution, counter-insurgency, and war during the regime’s early years led to the growth of an ideologically motivated and highly partisan security services. In Egypt, by contrast, the absence of origins in violent, revolutionary struggle led to the creation of a coercive apparatus with weaker, more situational cohesion. The regime’s overall coercive capacity was high, but in the absence of a revolutionary heritage, the willingness of the repressive apparatus to suppress large-scale, mass protest was more open to question than in Iran.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: protest, coercion, Egypt, Iran, police, authoritarianism, regime, transition

JEL Classification: Z00

Accepted Paper Series





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Date posted: September 8, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lachapelle, Jean and Way, Lucan A. and Levitsky, Steven, Crisis, Coercion, and Authoritarian Durability: Explaining Diverging Responses to Anti-Regime Protest in Egypt and Iran (2012). Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 31 August 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2142721

Contact Information

Jean Lachapelle
University of Toronto ( email )
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada
Lucan A. Way (Contact Author)
University of Toronto ( email )
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada
Steven Levitsky
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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