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Aidt, T. S. and Leon, G.

The Democratic Window of Opportunity: Evidence from Riots in sub-Saharan Africa


Abstract: We show that drought-induced changes in the intensity of riots lead to moves towards democracy in sub-Saharan Africa, and that these changes are often a result of concessions made as a result of the riots. This provides evidence that low-intensity conflict can have a substantial short-run impact on democratic change, and supports the window of opportunity hypothesis: droughts lead to an increase in the threat of conflict, and incumbents often respond by making democratic concessions.

Keywords: Riots, drought, transitions, democracy, autocracy

JEL Codes: D70 P16

Author links: Toke Aidt  


Open Access Link:

Published Version of Paper: The democratic window of opportunity: evidence from riots in sub-Saharan Africa, Aidt, T. S. and Leon,G. J., Journal of Conflict Resolution (2016)

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