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QoG lunch seminar with Anselm Hager

Research profile seminar

The QoG Institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government. The seminars address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained as well as the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty.

Speakers are invited from the international research community and experts from NGOs and other organizations to the lunch seminars. The seminars last for one hour and include a short presentation by the speaker (30-35 min) followed by a joint discussion about the topic.

If nothing else is indicated, the seminars are held in English.

Title of seminar:
"Does State Repression Prevent Popular Uprisings? Evidence from Polish Spies and the Fall of the Iron Curtain"

Abstract:
Does state repression prevent popular uprisings? An influential view among scholars of contentious politics is that state repression prevents large uprisings, but that it also causes citizens to engage in sabotage. We revisit this question drawing on evidence from Communist Poland. We measure state repression using classified data on spies in local communities. Our outcome are granular measures of Solidarno¿¿ protests as well as acts of sabotage in the Polish command economy. Contrary to popular wisdom, we show that repressed communities are more likely to protest against the regime. And, perplexingly so, repressed communities also show lower levels of sabotage. Protests and sabotage are thus strategic substitutes-but not in ways commonly expected. We argue that this finding is the result of an outrage channel: In a socialist regime which purports to be based on solidarity-espionage demonstrates that the state mistrusts its citizens and thus generates resentment. Coupled with a ruinous economy, such resentment then sparks dissatisfied citizens to take to the streets. Once on the streets, protesters refrain from sabotage in order to signal their sincere political commitment to bystanders and authorities alike.

Lecturer: Anselm Hager, Assistant Professor of political economy at the graduate school of decision sciences in Konstanz.

Date: 12/11/2019

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: The Quality of Government Institute

Location: Stora Skansen (B336)

Contact person: Alice Johansson

Page Manager: Alice Johansson|Last update: 9/3/2019
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