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Government Coercion of Dissidents: Deterrence or Provocation?

Dipak K. Gupta, Harinder Singh and Tom Sprague
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 37, No. 2 (Jun., 1993), pp. 301-339
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/174525
Page Count: 39
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Government Coercion of Dissidents: Deterrence or Provocation?
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Abstract

The dynamic effect of government coercion on dissident activities has been a controversial issue. It is contended that this relationship is significantly altered when different control variables such as regime type, ideological orientation, and economic performance are employed. Time series data based on 24 countries is used to estimate the net effect of government coercion on two types of dissident activities: protest demonstrations and deaths from domestic group violence. It is shown that in democratic nations, government sanctions provoke a higher level of protest demonstrations. However, in nondemocratic countries, at the extreme, severe sanctions can impose an unbearable cost, resulting in an inverse relationship between sanctions and political deaths. The nature of the regime influences not only the dynamics of the relationship between government coercion and dissident activities, but also the qualitative character of opposition response.

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