So you say you want a revolution: A game theoretic explanation of revolution in repressive regimes

John Ginkel, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Existing models of revolutions tend to focus only on the behavior of the revolutionaries and do not account for government actions. This article presents a model that captures the decision making of a repressive government, career dissidents, and revolutionary participants. The model shows that (a) governments rarely offer concessions to protesters, (b) dissident activity is more likely to be successful in motivating large-scale protest under highly repressive conditions, and (c) Kuran's hypothesis that regimes collapse suddenly with little warning is confirmed. The authors use the model to interpret the different outcomes that occurred during the successful Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the failed revolution in China during the Tiananmen Square democracy protests.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)291-316
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
    Volume43
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations

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