An Empirical Assessment of Social Unrest Dynamics and State Response in Eurasian Countries

Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(3), 2015, 1-29

29 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018

See all articles by Gonzalo de Cadenas Santiago

Gonzalo de Cadenas Santiago

BBVA Research – Ciudad BBVA

Alicia García-Herrero

Bruegel; Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS); Natixis

Alvaro Ortiz

Repsol YPF

Tomasa Rodrigo

BBVA Research – Ciudad BBVA

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This paper shows an empirical assessment of social unrest dynamics in the Eurasian countries. We use a big database of social events (GDELT) to build up several real time indexes of social unrest escalation by social agents divided in several stages consistent with the Unrest Lifecycle Theory (vindication, protest and conflict) and alternatives measures of state response (repression and cooperation). We build a Vector Autoregressive (VAR) model to analyse the unrest dynamic cycle of social agents and state response. Our results show that Eurasia is a fairly volatile region in what shock-generation and inertia relates. Social reactivity is also relevant but we find that this is stronger at the initial stages of unrest while it decays as the intensity of shocks increases. Repressive state response is a fact but it decays too in intensity as the conflict escalates along the unrest cycle, falling even into an accommodative mode. We attribute this behaviour to the limited state enforcing ability of among other things. Unrest and government action are not homogenous across the region, West and Central Eurasia are more prone to conflict escalation and their enforcing ability of the state is also lower. This gives an insight were prevalent unrest theories such as unrest lifecycle; deterrence and backslash seem more dominant. We also find traces of spill over-effects or contagion among countries who share boundaries but the intensity and sign is undefined. We compare these stylized facts against the MENA region and suggest that Eurasia carries similar though milder dynamics in all terms, volatility and reactivity of social unrest, state response and enforcing inability and contagion.

Keywords: GDELT; Social Unrest; Conflict; State; Repression; VAR Models; Eurasia

Suggested Citation

de Cadenas Santiago, Gonzalo and Garcia-Herrero, Alicia and Ortiz, Alvaro and Rodrigo, Tomasa, An Empirical Assessment of Social Unrest Dynamics and State Response in Eurasian Countries (2015). Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(3), 2015, 1-29 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160538

Gonzalo De Cadenas Santiago

BBVA Research – Ciudad BBVA ( email )

C/ Azul,4. Edificio La Vela. Planta 4
Madrid, 28050
Spain

Alicia Garcia-Herrero (Contact Author)

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
B-1210 Brussels Belgium, 1210
Belgium

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS) ( email )

IAS 2019, Lo Ka Chung Building,
Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

Natixis ( email )

France

Alvaro Ortiz

Repsol YPF ( email )

28046 Madrid
Spain
+34-91-348-81-00 (Phone)
+34-91-348-28-21 (Fax)

Tomasa Rodrigo

BBVA Research – Ciudad BBVA ( email )

C/ Azul,4. Edificio La Vela. Planta 4
Madrid, 28050
Spain

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