Tightening tensions: fiscal policy and civil unrest in South America 1937–95
On 1 May 2010 the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreau announced a set of drastic austerity measures. May Day itself saw clashes between police and demonstrators. On 5 May a general strike paralyzed the country armed demonstrators fought street battles with police. A bank burned down and numerous demonstrators and policemen were injured. By the standards of antigovernment protests the May 2010 incidents in Athens were mild. Many countries have seen severe rioting and political violence following budget cuts. In this paper I examine the extent to which social unrest is clearly associated with fiscal austerity. Do riots antigovernment demonstrations political assassinations and attempts at revolutionary overthrow become more common if governments push through tax hikes and spending cuts?