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Multi-Dimensional Threat Perception and State Repression: An Inquiry into Why States Apply Negative Sanctions

Christian Davenport
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp. 683-713
DOI: 10.2307/2111650
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111650
Page Count: 31
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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.
Multi-Dimensional Threat Perception and State Repression: An Inquiry into Why States Apply Negative Sanctions
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Abstract

Regimes respond to domestic threats with political repression. The precise nature of the domestic threat itself, however, is subject to discussion. State repression is a function of either a unidimensional conception of domestic threats (i.e., where there is one attribute of political conflict considered by the regime) or one that is multidimensional in character (i.e., where there are several attributes considered), conditioned by certain political-economic characteristics: democracy, economic development, coercive capacity, dependency and lagged repression. A pooled cross-sectional time series analysis of 53 countries from 1948 to 1982. Three different aspects of political conflict (conflict frequency, strategic variety, and deviance from cultural norm) are statistically significant in their relationship to repression, supporting the multidimensional conception of domestic threats. Additionally, the degree to which the government is democratic significantly alters the pattern of relationships between political conflict and repressive behavior.

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