Recurrent Revolutions

38 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2013 Last revised: 31 May 2017

Dmitry Dagaev

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Natalia Lamberova

University of California, Los Angeles

Anton Sobolev

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 30, 2015

Abstract

Most, if not all, post-World War II non-constitutional exits from power by recently-installed leaders have been caused by elite coups, not popular uprisings. The recent experience of Egypt, where the post-Mubarak government collapsed after almost uninterrupted protests since its first day in office, offers a striking counterexample to this pattern. Our theoretical model, incorporating protest into a dynamic Downsian framework, features the significant role of social media and the absence of partisan or personalized leadership. In equilibrium, it is possible to have recurrent protests. Moreover, even non-radical incumbents with wide support can suffer from them. We show that recurrent revolutions feature the emergence of new dictators on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Keywords: Arab Spring, autocracy, collective action, social media, regime change

JEL Classification: C42, L96, D74

Suggested Citation

Dagaev, Dmitry and Lamberova, Natalia and Sobolev, Anton and Sonin, Konstantin, Recurrent Revolutions (October 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2365057

Dmitry Dagaev

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Natalia Lamberova

University of California, Los Angeles ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 20094
United States

Anton Sobolev

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/antsobolev/

Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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