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Information and Communication Technologies, Protests, and Censorship

20.06.2023 14:00 CET Online Seminar Series of the Economics Dept.

Talk by Galina Zudenkova (Dortmund) as part of the Research Seminar Series of the IOS Economics Department.

We develop a theory of information flows and political regime change, when citizens use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for both information acquisition and protest coordination. Governments can respond by obfuscation of citizens’ signal or by restricting access to ICTs used for coordination. We find that introduction of communication technologies lowers the probability of regime survival, but this effect is weaker in economies that do not use ICTs for production. We also expect less competent governments to use coordination censorship, though this effect is weaker in economies that use ICTs extensively. Some high-frequency empirical evidence is consistent with our predictions.

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