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The Democratic Window of Opportunity: Evidence from Riots in sub-Saharan Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Toke S. Aidt, Gabriel Leon

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-717
Number of pages24
Early online date6 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

King's Authors


We show that drought-induced changes in the intensity of riots lead to moves toward democracy in sub-Saharan Africa and that these changes are often a result of concessions made as a result of the riots. This provides evidence that low-intensity conflict can have a substantial short-run impact on democratic change and supports the “window of opportunity” hypothesis: droughts lead to an increase in the threat of conflict, and incumbents often respond by making democratic concessions.

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