Contentious Politics and State Response: How Policy Choices Shape Crisis Behavior.
Abstract: What explains the causal mechanisms that underlie variations in
governments' domestic policy behavior towards contentious collective action? Specifically,
why certain governments choose violent repression as crisis strategy while others adopt
both bargaining and comparatively low repression in reaching a political compromise to
mobilized mass opposition? This research advances the ... read moreproposition that non-democratic
government crisis response is a function of its consolidation (level of autocracy), which
is closely associated with its domestic costs of state-sponsored repression. The more
autocratic the regime, the lower its domestic costs for employing repressive measures
against oppositionists, and this information enters into the government authority's
decision making calculus on the onset of dissident collective actions. Highly autocratic
governments are expected to repress dissent violently than engage in accommodative
strategies, and therefore, they are more likely to either crush the uprisings or, if public
protests persists despite the violent coercion, it would potentially escalate the conflict.
Domestic costs, then, places decisional opportunities -and constraints- to autocratic
policymakers. Domestic crises hardly stay domestic in this globalized world and hence
governments are not immune from international costs that influence crisis management as
they unfold. However, domestic costs are expected to play the dominant role at the outset
of non-institutional collective contention.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Richard Shultz.
Committee: Andrew Hess, and Stephen Wright.
Keywords: International relations, and Middle Eastern studies.read less
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