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The Arab SpringPathways of Repression and Reform$
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Jason Brownlee, Tarek Masoud, and Andrew Reynolds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660063.001.0001

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Breakdowns and Crackdowns

Breakdowns and Crackdowns

(p.64) 3 Breakdowns and Crackdowns
The Arab Spring

Jason Brownlee

Tarek Masoud

Andrew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the durability of autocratic institutions in Arab states. The limited scope of political transformation across the Arab states underscores the continuing durability of autocratic institutions, particularly the fabled “coercive apparatus” that has kept the opposition in check for decades. This chapter moves from core explanatory variables to the causal links connecting them to major outcomes: regime breakdown and regime continuity, through repressive crackdowns. To assess how the military apparatus helped determine regime survival or breakdown state by state the chapter describes in detail the events of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Syria. Antecedent variables related to the loyalty of coercive agents (measured through prior dynastic transfers of power) and a surfeit of state revenues (measured by oil rents) help explain the orientation of Arab security forces and the regime outcomes they drove.

Keywords:   coercive apparatus, regime survival, regime breakdown, military

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