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Did Egypt’s post-uprising crime wave increase support for authoritarian rule?

Caroline Abadeer, Alexandra Domike Blackman, Lisa Blaydes and Scott Williamson
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Caroline Abadeer: Independent Researcher
Alexandra Domike Blackman: Cornell University
Lisa Blaydes: Stanford University
Scott Williamson: Bocconi University

Journal of Peace Research, 2022, vol. 59, issue 4, 577-592

Abstract: Countries transitioning from autocracy to democracy often struggle to maintain law and order. Yet relatively little is known about how increasing crime rates impact public support for authoritarian leadership during a transition. We find an empirical relationship between rising crime and support for authoritarian leadership in Egypt following the 2011 uprisings. Analysis of original crime data from Egypt suggests that electoral districts exposed to larger year-on-year changes in localized patterns of crime were more likely to vote for the ‘strongman’ candidate in Egypt’s first, and only, free and fair presidential election in 2012. We also analyze survey data which shows that Egyptians who were highly concerned about crime were more likely to express support for a ‘strong leader’ as well as for military rule, even after controlling for a broad set of covariates. This research illustrates how instability triggered by political transitions can have negative implications for democratic consolidation.

Keywords: authoritarianism; crime; democratization; Egypt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/00223433211052374

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