Trial by Fire: A Natural Disaster’s Impact on Support for the Authorities in Rural Russia

51 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2013

See all articles by Egor Lazarev

Egor Lazarev

Columbia University

Anton Sobolev

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Irina V. Soboleva

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Boris Sokolov

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research

Date Written: December 17, 2013

Abstract

This study aims to explore the micro-foundations of political support under a non-democratic regime by investigating the impact of a natural disaster on attitudes toward the government. The research exploits the enormous wildfires that occurred in rural Russia during the summer of 2010 as a natural experiment. We test the effects of fires with a survey of almost 800 respondents in 70 randomly selected villages. Our study finds that in the burned villages there is higher support for the government at all levels. Most counter-intuitively, the rise of support for authorities cannot be fully explained by the generous governmental aid. We interpret the results by the demonstration effect of the government’s performance.

Keywords: government support, natural disasters, authoritarianism, Russia, natural experiment

Suggested Citation

Lazarev, Egor and Sobolev, Anton and Soboleva, Irina V. and Sokolov, Boris, Trial by Fire: A Natural Disaster’s Impact on Support for the Authorities in Rural Russia (December 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2368659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2368659

Egor Lazarev (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
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/

Irina V. Soboleva

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Boris Sokolov

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research ( email )

room 318; 55-2, Sedova ul.,
Saint-Petersburg, 190068
Russia
+78125600443 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/50169851

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
108
rank
86,246
Abstract Views
1,146
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information