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Seduction of Religious Clerics and Violence in Autocratic Regimes - with special emphasis on Islam

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  • Platteau, Jean-Phillipe

    ()
    (University of Namur)

  • Sekeris, Petros G.

    ()
    (University of Namur)

Abstract

In establishing and consolidating strong centralized states absolute monarchs do not rely on sheer force alone but they also resort to the tactic of seduction whereby they buy the loyalty of potential rivals or dissenters. We argue with special reference to the lands of Islam that seduction is not confined to political or military rivals or enemies but may be extended to religious clerics whose legitimizing helps sheltering the absolute ruler from open opposition and defusing potential rebellion. Our model which features three actors, the ruler, the religious authorities, and the common people allows us to identify the conditions under which the ruler is more or less likely to grant substantial material privileges to the official clerics. By positing (1) that official clerics respond not only to material privileges but also to ideological factors, and (2) that their potential contribution to mass protest or revolutionary movements (in the event that the ruler does not choose to treat them well enough) depends on technological/motivational factors encapsulating the influence of the state of communication technologies or the level of inspiration or emulation gained from successful rebellions in other countries, we are able to make useful predictions and, in particular, to shed new light on the Arab Spring.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Network of European Peace Scientists in its series NEPS Working Papers with number 3/2013.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:nepswp:2013_003

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Web page: http://www.europeanpeacescientists.org/
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Related research

Keywords: Mass protests; Ideology; Communication;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," Working Papers 0707, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2007.
  2. Petros G. Sekeris, 2010. "Endogenous Elites: Power Structure and Patron-Client Relationships," Working Papers 1008, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  3. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2011. "Political Instrumentalization of Islam and the Risk of Obscurantist Deadlock," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 243-260, February.
  4. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2008. "Religion, Politics, and Development: Lessons from the Lands of Islam," Working Papers 434, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2008.
  5. Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2011. "Information Cascades and Revolutionary Regime Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 763-792, 06.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  7. Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
  8. Fadhel Kaboub, 2013. "The Making Of The Tunisian Revolution," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 5(01), pages 1350003-1-1.
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