External threats and political survival: Can dispute involvement deter coup attempts?
Diversionary war theory holds that insecure leaders are more likely to pursue aggressive foreign policies than their more secure counterparts. This hypothesis rests on the premise that interstate dispute involvement helps leaders deter potential challenges against their rule. We offer strong support for this premise by looking at coup attempts. Cross-national time-series evidence from interstate dispute participation over the period 1960–2000 indicates that a country in a militarized confrontation with another state is about 60% less likely to experience a coup attempt in the subsequent year. Consistent with our hypothesis, we establish that it is mainly militarized involvement in disputes, rather than non-militarized involvement, that is associated with lower coup likelihood. The results are robust to controlling for a wide set of potential correlates of coups and remain qualitatively intact when we focus entirely on within-country variations in coup attempts and interstate disputes.
On December 27, 2016 Federal Judge Anna Shipikova announced a judgment of the Dorogomilovo District Court of Moscow on the claim of the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Vladimir Oleynik where she acknowledged the events in the Ukraine in February 2014 as a coup and a fact of legal importance.
This process allowing a possibility to raise an issue of protection of an indefinite range of persons from violation of indefinite range of rights is an exclusive precedent of using civil procedure instruments to achieve obscure legal aims. Consequently it deserves special expert treatment. Another reason is that there have been no cases when a foreign citizen tried to acknowledge in the Russian district court the legal fact of a coup in another state.
In the 1960s Mancur Olson and Samuel Huntington suggested that the positive correlation between per capita income and the level of sociopolitical destabilization that they detected for low and middle income countries might be partly accounted for by the growth of the inequality associated with the economic and technological development in these countries. The empirical tests we perform generally support this hypothesis, but they also identify certain limits for such an explanation. Our tests reveal for low and middle income countries a statistically significant correlation between GDP per capita and the economic inequality levels, but this correlation is not particularly strong. Earlier we found for the same countries significantly stronger positive correlations between GDP per capita and some important components of sociopolitical destabilization, such as the intensity of political assassinations, general strikes and anti-government demonstrations. It is quite clear that the strong association between the increase in the intensity of these components of sociopolitical destabilization and GDP per capita growth, can be explained by a much weaker tendency toward the growth of economic inequality only partly. In addition, our empirical tests suggest the presence of a certain threshold level of about 40 points on the Gini scale, after crossing which one can expect a radical increase in levels of sociopolitical destabilization in general, and the intensity of terrorist acts / guerrilla warfare and anti-government demonstrations in particular. According to the World Bank, the value of the Gini coefficient for Russia is now just in this zone, which suggests that the further growth of inequality in Russia could lead to an abrupt increase in political destabilization.
Our review of some modern trends in the development of energy technologies suggests that the scenario of a significant reduction of the global oil demand can be regarded as quite probable. Such a scenario implies a rather significant decline of oil prices. The aim of this article is to estimate the sociopolitical destabilization risks that such a decline could produce with respect to oil exporting economies. Our analysis of the relationship between changes in oil prices and political crises in these economies shows a large destabilizing effect for price declines in the respective countries. The effect is highly non-linear, showing a power-law type relationship: oil price changes in the range higher than $60 per barrel only exert very slight influence on sociopolitical instability, but if prices fall below this level, each further decrease by $10 leads to a greater increase in the risks of crises. These risks grow particularly sharply at a prolonged oil price collapse below $40 per barrel, and become especially high at a prolonged oil price collapse below $35 per barrel. The analysis also reveals a fairly short-term lag structure: a strong steady drop in oil prices immediately leads to a marked increase in the risks of sociopolitical destabili- zation in oil-exporting countries, and this risk reaches critical highs within three years. Thus, the possible substantial decline of the global oil demand as a result of the development of the energy technologies reviewed in the first section of the present article could lead to a very substantial increase in the sociopolitical destabi- lization risks within the oil exporting economies. This suggests that the governments, civil societies, and business communities of the respective countries should amplify their effort aimed at the diversification of their economies and the reduction of their dependence on the oil exports.
Malthusian cycles are political-demographic cycles that were typical for complex pre-modern societies. Due to a number of mechanisms, within the pre-modern social systems (and some would argue even in the 21st century) population growth tended to produce a set of imbalances and strains, eventually resulting in political-demographic collapses and substantial population decline. After stabilization, the population growth usually re-started – marking the beginning of a new Malthusian political demographic cycle. This entry provides an overview of elements of the Malthusian cycle dynamics, a consideration of its political aspects, a summary of theories and mathematical models that have been advanced to explain the Malthusian cycles, and a discussion of the escape from the Malthusian trap and its political consequences.