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Pillars of ProsperityThe Political Economics of Development Clusters$
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Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152684

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152684.001.0001

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Political Violence

Political Violence

(p.169) Chapter 4 Political Violence
Pillars of Prosperity

Timothy Besley

Torsten Persson

Princeton University Press

This chapter attempts to integrate two different strands of research on political violence, developing a theoretical model to analyze the common roots of repression and civil war. Under specific assumptions about the conflict technology, it shows that peace, repression (one-sided violence), and civil war (two-sided violence) become ordered states depending on a common underlying latent variable, which is shifted by shocks to the value of public goods, wages, aid, and resource rents. But these effects only emerge when political institutions do not provide sufficient checks and balances on the ruling group or adequate protection for those excluded from power. The chapter also shows how to start bridging the gap between theoretical modeling and econometric testing. Under specific assumptions on what can be observed, the predictions from the model can be taken to the data by estimating either an ordered logit or the conditional probability of transition from peace to violence or from non-civil war to civil war. The empirical strategy here is much sharper than in earlier chapters and shows that the kind of theory we are building can help us approach the data in a specific way.

Keywords:   political violence, economic development, income, state capacity, repression, civil war

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