In: Handbook of Defense Economics
This essay develops an economic theory of insurrections. The decision-making agents in this theory are an incumbent ruler, a potential leader of an insurrection, and a large number of peasant or worker families. The essay distinguishes insurrections that attempt only to appropriate current income from revolutions, which are insurrections that attempt to effect permanent change in the distribution of income through the appropriation of sovereign power. The analysis shows how the technology of insurrection, together with a discount factor, determines whether there is an insurrection, the allocation of resources among productive activities, soldiering, and insurgency, and the probable outcome of an insurrection.
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