Urbanization and Revolutions: a Quantitative Analysis

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research, Associate Researcher at the International Laboratory of Demography and Human Capital; Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization
Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Address: Moscow, Russia
Occupation: Research Intern, Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization
Affiliation: National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Address: Moscow, Russia
Occupation: Leading Researcher; Chief Researcher, Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization
Institute of Oriental Studies of RAS
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: Moscow, Russia
Occupation: Chief Researcher; Head of the Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization
Institute for African Studies of RAS
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Address: Moscow, Russia
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 10

Developing countries are now at a stage of accelerated modernization and its crucial part – the urbanization transition. In classical papers on this topic, authors mentioned that revolutions are an integral part of modernization. In this article authors present a study of how urbanization affects the risks of different revolutionary events – armed and unarmed. By exploiting cross-national data from 1950 to 2019 and analyzing 459 revolutionary events from NAVCO database, authors conclude that there is a strong and negative correlation between urbanization and the risks of armed uprisings. Meanwhile, the risks of unarmed revolutions behave curvilinearily: as urbanization increases, the risks of the unarmed uprisings increase, but begin to fall when the country is in the final stage of the urbanization transition. Thus, we are dealing with a pronounced curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) relationship between urbanization and the risks of unarmed revolutionary destabilization.

Keywordsrevolutions, urbanization, modernization, armed revolutions, unarmed revolutions, cross-national studies
AcknowledgmentThe research was conducted as part of the HSE Basic Research Program in 2022 with the support of the RSF, Project No. 18-18-00254.
Publication date14.12.2022
Number of characters22717
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