Greater Economic Backwardness and Revolution

An article in the History News Network got my attention

Greater economic backwardness

A few lines caught my attention:

  1. “For the first time the researchers found that the greater the development gap….the more likely a country has experienced non-violent and violent mass demonstrations for regime change…”
  2. “Events in the Arab Spring and in the Euro-Maidan demonstrations in the Ukraine, show that the frustrated desire to catch up with the frontier era can extend to the political sphere, particularly with repressive regimes.”

Well, this is probably very interesting work and I probably need to scare up a copy. The “for the first time” claim caught my attention in light of the work by Ted Gurr and Feierabend & Feierabend in the 1960s, which I am familiar with. I have posted on their work before. Of course, what Gurr and the Feierabends’ work showed was that (and this is paraphrasing from my memory):

  1. Poorer countries had more political violence that richer countries.
  2. Really poor countries had less political violence than developing countries (poor countries that are getting richer).
  3. Political violence went up when the economy went down.

The sense I have from the Gurr and Feierabend’s work is that the least stable countries are those that were developing economically and then stalled or went into recession. This, of course, is the scenario with Russia (and others like Venezuela) and possibly may become the scenario in China.


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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