Protest, Democratization, and Escalation to Large-scale Political Violence

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Project Leader

Project Period

  • 2019-2022

Collaborators

  • Anita Gohdes (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin)
  • Håvard Hegre (Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University)
  • Nils B. Weidmann (Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz)
  • Yukai Yang (Department of Statistics, Uppsala University)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Why do some protests quickly fizzle out, others successfully overthrow dictatorships, and yet others descend into full-blown civil war? In this project, we marry the largely compartmentalized research literatures on political protest, democratization, and large-scale political violence to explain the most common protest escalation trajectories, and the conditions under which they emerge. Importantly, we will study how escalation trajectories are shaped by combinations of coercive and political institutions. In light of the consequences different trajectories have for human rights abuses, political systems, and economies, the research is highly relevant for local and international organizations working to promote peace and democracy.

To carry out the research, we will collect and analyze novel data on the coercive organizations engaged in violent repression of protests, and expand the temporal scope of protest events in the Mass Mobilization in Autocracies Database (MMAD).

The project collaborates with the political Violence Early-warning System (ViEWS) project at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, and the theoretical and empirical insights from the project will be integrated in the ViEWS forecasts.

MAIN FINANCIAL SUPPORT

  • Swedish Research Council