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Disappearing dissent? Repression and state consolidation in Mexico

Weintraub, Michael, Osorio, Javier and Schubiger, Livia I. (2018) Disappearing dissent? Repression and state consolidation in Mexico. Journal of Peace Research, 55 (2). pp. 252-266. ISSN 1460-3578

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0022343318751035


Does violent repression strengthen the state? In this paper we explore the legacies of repression by the Mexican government on subsequent state consolidation. We investigate how a particular form of state repression, forced disappearances of alleged leftist dissidents, during the 1960s and 1970s in Mexico had path-dependent consequences for different dimensions of state capacity nearly fifty years later. To do so, we rely on data gathered from suppressed Mexican human rights reports of forced disappearances which, to our knowledge, have not been analyzed by social scientists before. Controlling for a rich set of pre-disappearances covariates, we find that forced disappearances are positively correlated with contemporary measures of fiscal and bureaucratic capacity. However, historical forced disappearances do not help the state to provide security, to consolidate its monopoly over the use of force, or to provide welfare-related public goods in the long run. Moreover, disappearances are negatively correlated with various measures of trust in the government.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 12:44
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 23:11

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