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Schedule information
Event Ethiopia: Suppressing Protest during Electoral Crises
When Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Where Mortara Building Mortara Center Conference Room
Event details
Details Suppressing Protest during Electoral Crises: The Geographic Logic of Mass Arrests in Ethiopia
by Leonardo Arriola, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

How do authoritarian governments respond to the threat of opposition protest after disputed election results? Governments often use coercion to suppress protests that threaten the political status quo, but it remains unclear whether they seek to maximize the impact of repression by imposing sanctions indiscriminately, stoking general terror to induce acquiescence, or by targeting sanctions against those most likely to mobilize against the regime in power. This paper contributes to the study of electoral authoritarianism by showing how governments use the urban geography of their capitals to target repression during electoral crises. The argument is illustrated with evidence from the Ethiopian government’s response to opposition protests in the national capital after disputed election results in 2005. Based on an analysis of nearly 15,000 protest-related arrests, the paper shows that the Ethiopian government pursued a strategy of geographic targeting, preemptively detaining young men mainly residing near the executive office, in order to forestall further anti-regime mobilization. Distance from the executive office alone is shown to explain nearly a third of the variation in neighborhood arrest rates, while factors such as protest history, the intensity of protest, the location of opposition leader arrests, and the location of police stations are found to have no impact on neighborhood arrest rates.

About the Speaker:
Leonardo Arriola is Assistant Professor for Comparative Politics and African at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Arriola studies electoral politics, ethnic politics, and political violence with a focus on African countries. His current research examines how electoral violence affects multiparty competition, power sharing, and state repression. He has conducted field research in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, and Senegal. He has previously been a visiting scholar at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, a Fulbright scholar at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University, and a visiting researcher at the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.

This event is free and open to the public. A Q&A session will follow the lecture.
A light lunch will be served.
Access » This event has been marked as open to the public.
Sponsors The Mortara Center and the African Studies Program
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