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Faculty of Economics

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Aidt, T. S. and Leon,G. J.

The democratic window of opportunity: evidence from riots in sub-Saharan Africa

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Vol. 60(4) pp. 694-717 (2016)

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 re- sult 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  

Publisher's Link:

Cambridge Working Paper in Economics Version of Paper: The Democratic Window of Opportunity: Evidence from Riots in sub-Saharan Africa, Aidt, T. S. and Leon, G., (2014)

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