Repression and dissent: Substitution, context, and timing

Will H. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


Theory: Two expected utility theories and one psychological/resource mobilization theory of the impact of repression on dissent are tested in this study. Hypothesis: Lichbach (1987) hypothesizes that dissidents will substitute violent protest for nonviolent protest behavior (and vice versa) when confronted with repression. Gupta, Singh, and Sprague (1993) put forth a contextual argument: repression spurs violence in democracies, but high levels of repression are effective in authoritarian regimes. Rasler (1996) contends that timing matters: repression is effective in the short run, but spurs protest in the long run. Methods: Sequential tests of events data are used to test the hypotheses. Results: Lichbach's theory is supported by the evidence, but neither Gupta, Singh, and Sprague's nor Rasler's theories receives support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-873
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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