Repressed productive potential and revolt: insights from an insurgency in Burundi

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Authors Cyrus Samii, Emily A. West
Paper Category
Paper Abstract The relationship between participation in revolt and individuals’ economic conditions is among the most debated in political science. While conventional economic theory suggests that those who face the poorest economic prospects are most inclined to fight, extant evidence is decidedly mixed. We address this puzzling variation by analyzing the interplay between macro-structural conditions and individuals’ micro-level circumstances. Under conditions of severe group repression, we show how a “glass ceiling” logic may operate: among the repressed group, those with relatively high productive potential may be most motivated to revolt. We test this with in-depth analysis of participation in the 1993-2003 Burundian insurgency. The data are consistent with numerous implications of the glass ceiling logic and inconsistent with extant alternative explanations.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R

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