Relative Deprivation as a Factor of Socio-Political Destabilization: Towards the Quantitative Analysis of the Arab Spring

Relative Deprivation as a Factor of Socio-Political Destabilization:
Towards the Quantitative Analysis of the Arab Spring

Korotayev A.V.,

Professor, Head of Socio-Political Destabilization Risk Monitoring Laboratory, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Leading Researcher, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 72980 | ORCID: 0000-0003-3014-2037 | RESEARCHER_ID: N-1160-2018

Shishkina A.R.,

Junior Researcher, Socio-Political Destabilization Risk Monitoring Laboratory, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Junior Researcher, Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 781188 |

Baltach A.A.,

Junior Researcher, Socio-Political Destabilization Risk Monitoring Laboratory, National Research University Higher School of Economics,

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.02.08

For citation:

Korotayev A.V., Shishkina A.R., Baltach A.A. Relative Deprivation as a Factor of Socio-Political Destabilization: Towards the Quantitative Analysis of the Arab Spring. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 2. P. 107-122. (In Russ.).


The article analyzes the concept of relative deprivation as a factor of socio-political instability in the course of the Arab Spring events using the methods of correlation and multiple regression analysis. Relative deprivation is operationalized through such an indicator as subjective feeling of happiness, based on the assumption that a person in a state of relative deprivation cannot feel subjectively happy. It is shown that the change in the level of subjective feeling of happiness between 2009 and 2010 is a powerful statistically significant predictor of the level of destabilization in the Arab countries in 2011. The next most powerful predictor is the average value of the subjective feeling of happiness in the corresponding country for 2010. At the same time, the fundamental economic indicators we tested while controlling for them, have turned out to be extremely weak and at the same time statistically insignificant predictors of the level of socio-political instability in the Arab countries in 2011. 

relative deprivation, Arab Spring, subjective feeling of happiness, quantitative analysis, protests, sociopolitical instability.


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