IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v94y2015icp97-121.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Extremism in revolutionary movements

Author

Listed:
  • Shadmehr, Mehdi

Abstract

A revolutionary entrepreneur strategically chooses the revolutionary agenda to maximize the likelihood of revolution. Citizens have different preferences and can contribute varying degrees of support. We show: (1) Extremists exert a disproportionate influence over the revolutionary agenda; (2) Depending on the structure of repression, more severe repression can moderate or radicalize the revolutionary agenda. Specifically, increases in the “minimum punishment” (marginal cost of revolutionary effort at its minimum) radicalize the revolutionary agenda. This presents the elite with a tradeoff between extreme but unlikely revolutions and moderate but likely ones. (3) Competition between revolutionary entrepreneurs can radicalize the revolutionary agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Shadmehr, Mehdi, 2015. "Extremism in revolutionary movements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:94:y:2015:i:c:p:97-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2015.08.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825615001220
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.geb.2015.08.003?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Epstein & Bahar Leventoğlu & Sharyn O'halloran, 2012. "Minorities and Democratization," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 259-278, November.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330.
    3. Boix, Carles & Svolik, Milan, 2009. "The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships," Papers 10-21-2009b, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    4. Bryan Kelly & Ľuboš Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2016. "The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(5), pages 2417-2480, October.
    5. Frankel, David M. & Morris, Stephen & Pauzner, Ady, 2003. "Equilibrium selection in global games with strategic complementarities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-44, January.
    6. Carlsson, Hans & van Damme, Eric, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 989-1018, September.
    7. Mehdi Shadmehr & Dan Bernhardt, 2015. "State Censorship," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 280-307, May.
    8. Kuran, Timur, 1991. "The East European Revolution of 1989: Is It Surprising That We Were Surprised?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 121-125, May.
    9. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
    10. Guimaraes, Bernardo & Morris, Stephen, 2007. "Risk and wealth in a model of self-fulfilling currency attacks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2205-2230, November.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    12. Antoine Loeper & Jakub Steiner & Colin Stewart, 2014. "Influential Opinion Leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(581), pages 1147-1167, December.
    13. Ronald Wintrobe, 2006. "Extremism, Suicide Terror, and Authoritarism," ICER Working Papers 8-2006, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    14. Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2011. "Information Cascades and Revolutionary Regime Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 763-792, June.
    15. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223.
    16. Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, 2013. "Rebel Tactics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 323-357.
    17. Câmara, Odilon & Bernhardt, Dan, 2015. "Learning about challengers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-206.
    18. Scott Ashworth & Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, 2006. "Monotone Comparative Statics for Models of Politics," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(1), pages 214-231, January.
    19. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 2002. "Strategic Complements, Substitutes, and Ambiguity: The Implications for Public Goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 436-466, October.
    20. Appelbaum, Elie, 2008. "Extremism as a strategic tool in conflicts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 352-364, November.
    21. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, November.
    22. Ronald Wintrobe, 2006. "Extremism, suicide terror, and authoritarianism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 169-195, July.
    23. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2011. "A Model Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 496-521, June.
    24. Milan W. Svolik, 2013. "Contracting on Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 57(5), pages 765-794, October.
    25. Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2008. "On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2185-2202, December.
    26. Lucia Buenrostro & Amrita Dhillon & Myrna Wooders, 2007. "Protests and reputation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(3), pages 353-377, February.
    27. Poe, Steven C. & Tate, C. Neal, 1994. "Repression of Human Rights to Personal Integrity in the 1980s: A Global Analysis," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 88(4), pages 853-872, December.
    28. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity, and the Timing of Attacks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 711-756, May.
    29. Adam Meirowitz & Joshua A. Tucker, 2013. "People Power or a One‐Shot Deal? A Dynamic Model of Protest," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 57(2), pages 478-490, April.
    30. Norman Schofield & Gary Miller, 2007. "Elections and Activist Coalitions in the United States," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(3), pages 518-531, July.
    31. Gábor Virág, 2008. "Playing for Your Own Audience: Extremism in Two‐Party Elections," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 891-922, October.
    32. Michael Peress, 2013. "Candidate positioning and responsiveness to constituent opinion in the U.S. House of Representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 77-94, July.
    33. Chris Edmond, 2013. "Information Manipulation, Coordination, and Regime Change," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 80(4), pages 1422-1458.
    34. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
    35. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
    36. Shadmehr, Mehdi & Bernhardt, Dan, 2011. "Collective Action with Uncertain Payoffs: Coordination, Public Signals, and Punishment Dilemmas," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-851, November.
    37. Christophe Chamley, 1999. "Coordinating Regime Switches," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 114(3), pages 869-905.
    38. Courtenay Ryals Conrad & Will H. Moore, 2010. "What Stops the Torture?," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(2), pages 459-476, April.
    39. Roland Strausz, 2011. "Regulatory Risk Under Optimal Monopoly Regulation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 740-762, June.
    40. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2015. "Information and Extremism in Elections," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 165-207, February.
    41. Moon, Woojin, 2004. "Party Activists, Campaign Resources and Candidate Position Taking: Theory, Tests and Applications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 611-633, October.
    42. Bahar LeventoÄŸlu, 2005. "Social Mobility and Political Transitions," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 17(4), pages 465-496, October.
    43. James D. Fearon, 2011. "Self-Enforcing Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(4), pages 1661-1708.
    44. Egorov, Georgy & Guriev, Sergei & Sonin, Konstantin, 2009. "Why Resource-poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 645-668, November.
    45. Sambanis, Nicholas & Shayo, Moses, 2013. "Social Identification and Ethnic Conflict," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 294-325, May.
    46. Roemer, John E, 1985. "Rationalizing Revolutionary Ideology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 85-108, January.
    47. Michael Peress, 2011. "Securing the base: electoral competition under variable turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 87-104, July.
    48. de Mesquita, Ethan Bueno, 2005. "Conciliation, Counterterrorism, and Patterns of Terrorist Violence," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 145-176, January.
    49. Rubin, Jared, 2014. "Centralized institutions and cascades," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 340-357.
    50. de Mesquita, Ethan Bueno, 2008. "Terrorist Factions," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 399-418, December.
    51. Maria Boutchkova & Hitesh Doshi & Art Durnev & Alexander Molchanov, 2012. "Precarious Politics and Return Volatility," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 1111-1154.
    52. Wendy Pearlman & Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, 2012. "Nonstate Actors, Fragmentation, and Conflict Processes," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 56(1), pages 3-15, February.
    53. De Mesquita, Ethan Bueno, 2010. "Regime Change and Revolutionary Entrepreneurs," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 446-466, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rusch, Hannes, 2023. "The logic of human intergroup conflict:," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    2. Shadmehr, Mehdi & Bernhardt, Dan, 2019. "Vanguards in revolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 146-166.
    3. Nicola, Brugali & Paolo, Buonanno & Mario, Gilli, 2018. "Political Regimes and the Determinants of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism," Working Papers 384, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 13 Jul 2018.
    4. Bhalla, Manaswini & Chatterjee, Kalyan & Dutta, Souvik, 2021. "Social reform as a path to political leadership: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 982-1010.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mehdi Shadmehr & Peter Haschke, 2016. "Youth, Revolution, And Repression," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 778-793, April.
    2. Shadmehr, Mehdi & Bernhardt, Dan, 2011. "Collective Action with Uncertain Payoffs: Coordination, Public Signals, and Punishment Dilemmas," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-851, November.
    3. Dagaev, Dmitry & Lamberova, Natalia & Sobolev, Anton, 2019. "Stability of revolutionary governments in the face of mass protest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    4. Shadmehr, Mehdi & Bernhardt, Dan, 2019. "Vanguards in revolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 146-166.
    5. Anauati, María Victoria & Feld, Brian & Galiani, Sebastian & Torrens, Gustavo, 2016. "Collective action: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 36-55.
    6. Willemien Kets & Alvaro Sandroni, 2021. "A Theory of Strategic Uncertainty and Cultural Diversity," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 88(1), pages 287-333.
    7. de Martí, Joan & Milán, Pau, 2019. "Regime change in large information networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 262-284.
    8. Bove, Vincenzo & Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Sekeris, Petros G., 2017. "Political repression in autocratic regimes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 410-428.
    9. Apolte, Thomas, 2022. "Mass protests, security-elite defection, and revolution," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 981-996.
    10. Abraham Aldama & Mateo Vásquez-Cortés & Lauren Elyssa Young, 2019. "Fear and citizen coordination against dictatorship," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 31(1), pages 103-125, January.
    11. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
    12. Angeletos, G.-M. & Lian, C., 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1065-1240, Elsevier.
    13. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    14. Hubert Janos Kiss & Ismael Rodríguez-Lara & Alfonso Rosa-García, 2017. "Overthrowing the dictator: a game-theoretic approach to revolutions and media," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(2), pages 329-355, August.
    15. Dorsch, Michael T. & Maarek, Paul, 2018. "Rent extraction, revolutionary threat, and coups in non-democracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1082-1103.
    16. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    17. Thomas Apolte, 2016. "Gordon Tullock’s theory of revolution and dictatorship," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 158-178, June.
    18. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    19. Joan de Martí & Pau Milán, 2018. "Regime Change in Large Information Networks," Working Papers 1049, Barcelona School of Economics.
    20. Michael Dorsch & Karl Dunz & Paul Maarek, 2015. "Macro shocks and costly political action in non-democracies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 381-404, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Revolution; Revolutionary entrepreneurs; Extremism; Repression; Repression backlash; Competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:94:y:2015:i:c:p:97-121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.