Subjective Well‐Being and Peaceful Uprisings

Caroline Witte, Martjin J. Burger, Elena I. Ianchovichina

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study analyzes whether subjective well‐being measures can explain variation in peaceful uprisings, in addition to the objective measures typically used in analyses of this type of events. Using data on uprisings and subjective well‐being for 119 countries from 2007 to 2014 – a period during which nonviolent conflict became increasingly prevalent – we estimate panel data regressions, including instrumental variable models. The study finds evidence of a positive effect of life dissatisfaction on the incidence of peaceful uprising, but not its violent counterpart. This effect does not depend on the type of political regime, nor the stage of development, and, to a large extent, it reflects changes in perceived satisfaction with living standards and the ability to have a purposeful and meaningful life.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)120-158
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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