This is Ethiopian Review Policy Research Center’s series on From Dictatorship to Democracy extracted from books published by Albert Einstein Institution.
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Ronald Francisco and others have found that regime crackdowns produce backfire and increase mobilization, whereas other scholars have found variation in the effects of repression on mobilization.
Tolerance of government crackdowns may depend on whether the resistance campaign is nonviolent or violent. This dynamic is refected in hypothesis 1. (attached)
Challenging or disobeying orders is abnormal behavior for members of security forces. Evidence of defections within the ranks of the military would suggest that the tyrant no longer commands the cooperation and obedience of its most important pillar of support. Nonviolent challenges should be more likely to evoke loyalty shifts in the tyrant’s security forces, whereas armed resistance is more likely to encourage a closing of the ranks against the insurgency.
Hypothesis 2 captures this prediction. (attached)
In addition to receiving sympathy and a possible increase in legitimacy, a nonviolent campaign that is violently repressed may enjoy support from external actors. Conventional wisdom suggests that international sanctions targeting a repressive regime should help nonviolent campaigns.
Hypothesis 3 predicts that nonviolent campaigns beneft from external support. (attached)
Finally, Target regimes may also receive allied aid against nonviolent resistance campaigns. External state support for the target regime will disadvantage both violent and nonviolent campaigns. It is expected these dynamics will reduce the likelihood of success among the campaigns because of the disproportionate resources obtained by the tyrant.
Hypothesis 4 captures this factor. (attached)
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