Critical Junctures: Independence Movements and Democracy in Africa
We show that current levels of democracy in Africa are linked to the nature of its independence movements. Using different measures of political regimes and historical data on anti-colonial movements, we find that countries that experienced rural insurgencies tend to have autocratic regimes, while those that faced urban protests tend to have more democratic institutions. We provide evidence for causality in this relationship by using rough terrain as an instrument for rural insurgency, and by performing a sensitivity analysis. Finally, the evidence suggests that the adoption of rural insurgency perpetuated the use of violence as a form of conflict resolution.
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