Real-Time Surveillance of Repression: Theory and Implementation

Jesse Shapiro - Harvard University
Wed, May 8 2024, 3:30pm - 5:00pm PDT
GSB Gunn Building, G101
635 Knight Way, Stanford

Joint Applied Micro Seminar
Co-authors: Veli Andirin, Yusuf Neggers, and Mehdi Shadmehr

We study a dynamic model of protest and mobilization, in which the international community may intervene to sanction certain actions by the regime. We find that sanctioning public acts of repression, such as beating or arrests of protesters, can encourage the regime to prevent protest through less public means, such as obstruction or harassment of organizers. We show how to circumvent this problem by inferring the regime’s efforts to prevent protest from the extent to which protest can be predicted in advance. We create a global, monthly index of protest prevention using a novel database of protest events that includes information on whether a protest was planned or anticipated in advance. We illustrate the value of the index by studying its evolution during the COVID-19 pandemic and other salient events. The international community can use the index to pressure regimes to permit protest.