Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Transparency, Protest, and Autocratic Instability

  • JAMES R. HOLLYER (a1), B. PETER ROSENDORFF (a2) and JAMES RAYMOND VREELAND (a3)
Abstract

The collapse of autocratic regimes is often brought about through large-scale mobilization and collective action by elements of the populace. The willingness of any given member of the public to participate in actions such as strikes and protests is contingent upon her beliefs about others’ willingness to similarly mobilize. In this article, we examine the effect of a specific form of transparency—the disclosure of economic data by the government—on citizen belief formation, and consequently on collective mobilization. We present a theoretical model in which, under autocratic rule, transparency increases the frequency of protests, and increases the extent to which protest is correlated with incumbent performance. We find empirical support for these claims. Transparency destabilizes autocracies via mass protest.

Copyright
Corresponding author
James R. Hollyer is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota and Visiting Associate Research Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University, 1414 Social Sciences Building, 267 19th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (jhollyer@umn.edu).
B. Peter Rosendorff is Professor, Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University.
James Raymond Vreeland is Professor, School of Foreign Service, Department of Government, and Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daron Acemoglu , Simon Johnson , James A. Robinson , and Pierre Yared . 2009. “Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis.” Journal of Monetary Economics 56 (8): 1043–58.

Alícia Adserà , Carles Boix , and Mark Payne . 2003. “Are You Being Served? Political Accounatability and Quality of Government.” The Journal of Law, Economics & Organization 19 (2): 445–90.

Chunrong Ai , and Edward C. Norton . 2003. “Interaction Terms in Logit and Probit Models.” Economic Letters 80: 123–9.

George-Marios Angeletos , Christian Hellwig , and Alessandro Pavan . 2007. “Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity, and the Timing of Attacks.” Econometrica 75 (3): 711–56.

Ben Ansell , and David Samuels . 2010. “Inequality and Democratization: A Contractarian Approach.” Comparative Political Studies 43 (12): 1543–74.

Nathaniel Beck , and Jonathan N. Katz . 2011. “Modeling Dynamics in Time-Series-Cross-Section Political Economy Data.” Annual Review of Political Science 14: 331–52.

Nathaniel Beck , Jonathan N. Katz , and Richard Tucker . 1998. “Taking Time Seriously: Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable.” American Journal of Political Science 42 (4): 1260–88.

Daniel Berliner . 2014. “The Political Origins of Transparency.” Journal of Politics 76 (2): 479–91.

Nancy Bermeo . 1997. “Myths of Moderation: Confrontation and Conflict during Democratic Transitions.” Comparative Politics 29 (3): 305–22.

William D. Berry , Jacqueline H.R. DeMeritt , and Justin Esarey . 2010. “Testing for Interaction Effects in Binary Logit and Probit Models: Is a Product Term Essential?” American Journal of Political Science 54 (1): 248–66.

Timothy Besley , and Robin Burgess . 2002. “The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 117 (4): 1415–51.

Carles Boix . 2003. Democracy and Redistribution. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Carles Boix , and Milan W. Svolik . 2013. “The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions, Commitment, and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships.” Journal of Politics 75 (2): 300–16.

Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier , and Bradford S. Jones . 2004. Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier , and Christopher Zorn . 2002. “Duration Models for Repeated Events.” Journal of Politics 64 (4): 1069–94.

Dawn Brancati . 2014. “Democratic Authoritarianism: Origins and Effects.” Annual Review of Political Science 17: 313–26.

Hans Carlsson , and Eric van Damme . 1993. “Global Games and Equilibrium Selection.” Econometrica 61 (5): 9891018.

Brett Allen Casper , and Scott A. Tyson . 2014. “Popular Protest and Elite Coordination in a Coup d’état.” Journal of Politics 76 (2): 548–64.

José Antonio Cheibub , Jennifer Gandhi , and James Raymond Vreeland . 2010. “Democracy and Dictatorship Revisited.” Public Choice 143: 67101.

Christian Davenport . 2007. “State Repression and the Tyrannical Peace.” Journal of Peace Research 44 (4): 285504.

Simeon Djankov , Caralee McLiesh , Tatiana Nenova , and Andrei Shleifer . 2003. “Who Owns the Media?Journal of Law and Economics 46 (2): 341–81.

Axel Dreher . 2006. “Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a New Index of Globalization.” Applied Economics 38: 1091–110.

Raymond M. Duch , and Randolph T. Stevenson . 2008. The Economic Vote: How Political and Economic Institutions Condition Election Results. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chris Edmond . 2013. “Information Manipulation, Coordination, and Regime Change.” Review of Economic Studies 80 (4): 1422–58.

James D. Fearon 1999. “Electoral Accountability and the Control of Politicians: Selecting Good Types versus Sanctioning Poor Performance.” In A. Przeworski , S.C. Stokes , and B. Manin , eds. Democracy, Accountability, and Representation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 5597.

James D. Fearon 2011. “Self-Enforcing Democracy.” Quaterly Journal of Economics 126 (4): 1661–708.

Jennifer Gandhi . 2008. Political Institutions Under Dictatorship. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Jennifer Gandhi , and Adam Przeworski . 2006. “Cooperation, Cooptation, and Rebellion Under Dictatorships.” Economics and Politics 18 (1): 126.

Jennifer Gandhi , and Adam Przeworski . 2007. “Authoritarian Institutions and the Survival of Autocrats.” Comparative Political Studies 40: 1279–301.

Scott Gehlbach , and Konstantin Sonin . 2014. “Government Control of the Media.” Journal of Public Economics 118: 163–71.

Hein E. Goemans 2008. “Which Way Out? The Manner and Consequences of Losing Office.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 52 (6): 771–94.

Sanford C. Gordon 2002. “Stochastic Dependence in Competing Risks.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 200–17.

William Greene . 2010. “Testing Hypothesis About Interaction Terms in Nonlinear Models.” Economic Letters 107: 291–6.

Avner Grief . 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. New York: Cambridge University Press.

James R. Hollyer , B. Peter Rosendorff , and James R. Vreeland . 2011. “Democracy and Transparency.” Journal of Politics 73 (4): 115.

Evelyne Huber , Dietrich Rueschemeyer , and John D. Stephens . 1993. “The Impact of Economic Development on Democracy.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 7 (3): 7186.

Roumeen Islam . 2006. “Does More Transparency Go Along with Better Governance?Economics and Politics 18 (2): 121–67.

Nathan Jensen , and Leonard Wantchekon . 2004. “Resource Wealth and Political Regimes in Africa.” Comparative Political Studies 37 (7): 816–41.

Andrew T. Little 2012. “Elections, Fraud and Election Monitoring in the Shadow of Revolution.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7: 249–83.

Andrew T. Little , Joshua A. Tucker , and Tom LaGatta . 2015. “Elections, Protest and Alternation of Power.” Journal of Politics 77 (4): 1142–56.

Peter Lorentzen . 2014. “China’s Strategic Censorship.” American Journal of Political Science 58 (2): 402–14.

Ellen Lust-Okar . 2006. “Elections Under Authoritarianism: Preliminary Lessons from Jordan.” Democratization 13 (3): 456–71.

Beatriz Magaloni . 2006. Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Survival and its Demise in Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Christopher S.P. Magee , and John A. Doces . 2015. “Reconsidering Regime Type and Growth: Lies, Dictatorships and Statistics.” International Studies Quarterly 59 (2): 223–37.

Stephen Morris , and Hyun Song Shin . 2002. “Social Value of Public Information.” American Econmic Review 92 (5): 1521–34.

Adam Przeworski . 1998. “Deliberation and Ideological Domination.” In J. Elster , ed. Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–60.

Adam Przeworski , Michael E. Alvarez , José Antonio Cheibub , and Fernando Limongi . 2000. Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990. New York: Cambridge University Press.

B. Peter Rosendorff . 2001. “Choosing Democracy.” Economics & Politics 13 (1): 129.

Andreas Schedler . 2002. “The Menu of Manipulation.” Journal of Democracy 13 (2): 3650.

Andreas Schedler . 2012. “The Measurer’s Dilemma: Coordination Failures in Cross-National Data Collection.” Comparative Political Studies 45 (2): 237–66.

Robert Summers , and Alan Heston . 1991. “The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 106 (2): 327–68.

Milan W. Svolik 2012. The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Romain Wacziarg , and Karen Horn Welch . 2008. “Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence.” World Bank Economic Review 22 (2): 187231.

Ronald Wintrobe . 1998. The Political Economy of Dictatorship. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Joseph Wright . 2008. “Do Authoritarian Institutions Constrain? How Legislatures Affect Economic Growth and Investment.” American Journal of Political Science 52: 322–43.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Hollyer supplementary material
Appendix

 PDF (253 KB)
253 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 457 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 921 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.