Is violent opposition less likely to occur in subnational regions that have been treated preferentially by the respective country's ruling elite? Many authoritarian regimes try to secure political support by providing critical segments of the population with privileged access to economic or political rents. This study is interested in the effects of this strategy. Our empirical analysis is based on crowdsourcing data on the number and geospatial distribution of fatalities in the Syrian civil war. We also use satellite images of the earth at night to measure spatial variations in access to electricity across Syrian subdistricts; these data are complemented with information from the last Syrian population census. Estimations of fixed-effects logit models confirm the hypothesis that the risk of violence has been lower in subdistricts that had been favored by the ruling regime in terms of preferential access to electricity in times of power shortages.
regime cooptation geographical distribution of violence Syria civil war crowdsourcing data nightlights