Why and when do states repress their own citizens

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Politics

Document 1

This form of intimidation violates the rights of individuals that are documented in the First Amendment. These freedoms include the freedom of speech, travel, association, and the general freedom to boycott and peaceful protest. This paper will discuss why and when the states repress their citizens, and how this can be prevented. Why the state represses its citizens Cost vs benefits of using coercive actions Before using coercive mechanisms, authoritarians must evaluate and weigh both the benefits and costs of using coercive methods over its citizens. According to Dallin (1970), this model was constructed by researchers who included decision makers and sought to explore the various methods by which they deliberated on policies. They also considered the alternative methods to maintain control over their citizens, as well as the possibilities of a positive application. According to this model, when the cost exceeds the benefits, there is the existence of alternatives hence the possibility of success is very low. This insinuates that little coercion is expected from the government (Hill and Jones). On the other hand, when the benefits exceed the costs, the alternatives cannot be viewed as favorable, and there is are high chances of success. In such as a situation, repressive actions can be anticipated on the citizens. Researchers who came up with the model used variables such as overpopulation, autocracy, political conflicts and economic development. Autocratic versus democratic government Based on research, its believed that the state repression is just derived from a particular political-economic systems, and in this view, various parameters such as overpopulation, conflicts, and economic underdevelopment play a great role.

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During the late 1950’s the state coercion was perceived as a noble action that political leaders are compelled to do when faced with deficiencies in the system (Davenport 2007). In autocratic governments, the system was unresponsive, closed and paranoia - induced and which protects its leaders by repressing the citizens. It is evidently clear that the elites were incapable of staying in the government because they didn’t care about the welfare of the people and they lacked good governance. They intimidated the citizens in order to remain relevant and maintain control. A Democratic government, on the other hand, was accommodative, responsive and open and this made it less repressive to the citizens. In this system, it was believed that the authority had more ways of maintaining control over the people, hence there was no need of intimidating them.

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When the state represses its citizens The Law of Coercive Responsiveness Political conflict has been by far the most stable influence on state repression. This can date back to Niccolo Machiavelli in Italy during the late 1400’s to 1600’s, the famous Kautilya from India, or Thomas Hobbes from England during the early 1500’s, where it was a common perception that the authoritarians should always use coercive behaviors when they want to respond to threats to the political system, their lives, government personnel or the lives of those around their territorial jurisdiction (Moore, et al. London & Williams has asserted that trade always cause a positive influence on the level of repression in a state. When the youth bulge seems to increase An increase in the size of the youth cohort in the state can cause a significant threat to the actors.

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This threat cannot be ignored. The state can easily predict the youth bulge in the country and this renders it explicitly proactive. The fundamental reason why a large youth cohort will cause a serious threat to the state is that the large size of this youth cohort may lead to competition for basic resources in the state such as jobs and education. The assumption was that breaking the treaty would lead to serious sanctions from the external actors or lead to costly repercussions. When studying the relationship between the ratification of agreement and repression, the researcher found that there was no significant relationship between ratification of the agreement and repression as ratifying the treaty does not stop the government from indulging in coercive behaviors. However, in light with Davenport & Armstrong (2005) report, the researcher concludes that what will prevent the state from repressing its citizens is that there will be the formation of a democratic government that will also be treaty rectifiers.

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From the past studies, its evident that in a democratic form of government, citizens are less repressed. Similar research has been conducted by Hafner-Burton (2005) who found out that states that are involved in international agreements with clear enforcement mechanisms are less likely to repress the citizens. Works Cited Dallin A.  Political Terror in Communist Systems. Stanford University Press, 1970. Davenport, Christian. State Repression and Political Order. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M. Trading Human Rights: How Preferential Trade Agreements Influence Government Repression.  International Organization, vol.  59, no. Hathaway, Oona A. com, 8 May 2018, prezi. com/ezjaxhpjnszc/when-does-state-repression-occur/. HILL, DANIEL W. and ZACHARY M. JONES. Moore, Will H. et al. How Much Terror? Dissidents, Governments, Institutions and the Cross-National Study of Terror Attacks.  SSRN Electronic Journal, 2011.

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