A Quantitative Theory of Political Transitions

We develop a quantitative theory of repeated political transitions driven by revolts and reforms. In the model, the beliefs of disenfranchised citizens play a key role in determining revolutionary pressure, which in interaction with preemptive reforms determine regime dynamics. We study the quantitative implications of the model by fitting it to data on the universe of political regimes existing between 1946 and 2010. The estimated model generates a process of political transitions that looks remarkably close to the data, replicating the empirical shape of transition hazards, the frequency of revolts relative to reforms, the distribution of newly established regime types after revolts and reforms, and the unconditional distribution over regime types.

Advance access at OUP

Bookmark the permalink.