Sumernikov I. A.

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  • № 1, 2023

    • Economic Origins of Revolutions: the Link between GDP and the Risk of Revolutionary Events

      The recent years have witnessed numerous studies that analyze the influence of different factors on the probability of revolutionary events. At the same time, an important set of modernization variables (GDP, urbanization, education, democratization) still remains understudied. Moreover, the results of the contemporary quantitative studies show significant discrepancies in how wealth (operationalized through GDP per capita) affects the risks of revolutionary events. Herewith scholars usually consider such events in the aggregate, without dividing them into armed and non-armed rebellions.

      This paper attempts to shed light on the impact of wealth on revolutionary instability, taking into account the distinguishing features of its armed and non-armed versions. On the basis of the analysis of 425 revolutionary episodes of various types over the period of 1900—2019, the authors document a strong linear negative relationship between armed revolutions and the level of GDP per capita, while the relationship between unarmed revolutions and wealth has a curvilinear nature. At first, as GDP per capita increases, the risks of unarmed revolutions increase, but after reaching a certain threshold they begin to fall. The inflection point, when the risk of unarmed revolutionary instability is the greatest, corresponds to the level of GDP per capita in the middle-income countries, which currently face the middle-income trap. In other words, their wealth stagnates at the level that is most risky for the emergence of unarmed revolutions. According to the authors’ conclusion, in addition to the obvious economic problems associated with the middle-income trap, the latter also leads to the increased probability of unarmed revolutionary instability

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-108-1-64-87

      Pages: 64-87