Dual-layered coordination and political instability: Repression, co-optation, and the role of information

Scott A. Tyson, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


    We study coordination dynamics in the context of two groups under the shadow of political instability. One group (regime opponents) prefers a change in regime and can participate in an attack, which if sufficiently large, causes regime change. The other group (regime adherents) prefers the status quo and can support the regime, making it more resistant to attack. We derive and analyze the endogenously determined strength of the regime and isolate the strategic feedback between opponent coordination and adherent coordination. Because of this interrelated coordination dynamic we find that repression and co-optation are substitutes. In addition, we show that coordination frictions between regime adherents intensify the already disproportionate impact of public information. Moreover, public information affects individual actions in each group identically, regardless of disparities in the quality of private information available to members of each group. This implies that it is the least well-informed that determine the influence of public information.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)44-58
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2018


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

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