Information and Communication Technologies, Protests, and Censorship

Galina Zudenkova (TU Dortmund University)

March 24, 2023, 11:00–12:30

Room Auditorium 3

Public Economics Seminar


We develop a theory of information flows and political regime change when citizens use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for both information acquisition and protest coordination. Governments can respond by obfuscation of citizens' signal or by restricting access to ICTs used for coordination. We find that the introduction of communication technologies lowers the probability of regime survival, but this effect is weaker in economies that do not use ICTs for production. We also expect less competent governments to use coordination censorship, though this effect is weaker in economies that use ICTs extensively. Some high-frequency empirical evidence is consistent with our predictions. (with Maxim Ananyev, Maria Petrova, and Dimitrios Xefteris.)