Civilian Complicity with Dictatorships: Regime Support and the Type and Timing of Repression in Chile
Theories of authoritarian repression often overlook a regime’s information problem identifying dissenters. Additionally, there is little attention to how complicit civilians solve this information problem. I argue the regime identifies dissenters with the aid of civilian informants. In areas in which the regime has high levels of support, more civilian informants come forward and increase precision of regime information on dissenters. The argument predicts regimes repress earlier and conduct more selective killings in areas of high popular support. In areas of low popular support, the regime represses later and conducts more mass killings. Empirically, repression as a response to dissent and self-censoring by dissenters suggest alternative explanations for the type and timing of repression. I test my argument and address these alternative explanations with an original archival dataset from Chile after its 1973 military coup. Decreased popular support for the military regime is associated with more mass killings as well as later timing of repression. This paper adds to a growing literature on subnational repression, and highlights the understudied role of civilian complicity in enabling authoritarian repression.
The study of contentious campaigns compares the logic of choosing violence with the logic of choosing nonviolence. However, the literature overlooks how the state affects campaigns’ choice of resistance methods. In this paper, I argue the strategic interaction between the state and campaign conditions the campaign’s resistance method. I develop an argument of campaign-state bargaining to explain this choice. Campaigns choose nonviolence if the state can credibly commit to not repressing nonviolent dissent through open political competition. I test the argument using panel data on contentious campaigns from 1945 to 2006. I find the state’s commitment to open political competition correlates with campaigns’ choice of nonviolence.
Works in Progress
People Power? Nonviolent Coordination in the Shadow of Violence
Defining Contentious Political Action, with Daniel Arnon
Campaign Contributions in a Brazilian State Election, with Natalia Bueno
Service Provision and Social Control, with Patrick Pierson