Protests and reputation
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Protests take place for a variety of reasons. In this paper we focus on protests that have a well defined objective that is in conflict with the objectives of the government. Hence the success or failure of a protest movement depends crucially on how the government responds. We assume that government types are private information so that governments have an interest in building a reputation to deter protestors. We extend the standard reputation framework to one where potential protesters in the domestic jurisdiction are competing in a common market with protestors of a foreign jurisdiction, resulting in a situation where domestic governments care about the decisions of foreign governments. We derive conditions under which an equilibrium with “contagion” in protests might exist: protests that start in one jurisdiction spread to others. Finally we use our results to interpret the Fuel tax protests in France and England that took place in 2000 as well as the three successive pro-democracy revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
KeywordsPerfect Bayesian Equilibrium Protest Movement Protest Group Domestic Jurisdiction Foreign Jurisdiction
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