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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Export instability and political violence in underdeveloped countries Moul, William Brian


There have been few attempts to empirically delineate and assess the importance of "external" or "international" factors in the study of comparative politics and political development. The purpose of this thesis is to examine an "international-national linkage" which has been the subject of Considerable speculation butressed with anecdotal evidence. The linkage is between the short term instability of export proceeds of underdeveloped countries and the amount of political violence with in these countries. The independent variables are export instability, export losses, export instability impact, and the impact of export losses. In the first section of the thesis, the external nature of export instability is discussed. Export instability is not always induced externally. The evidence linking export in stability to domestic economic disturbances and economic disturbances to political violence is presented and discussed in the next section. Domestic economic disturbance is an unmeasured intervening variable in this study. There are many methods of computing the instability of export proceeds. Percentage deviations from annual trend values are used in this thesis, with the trend values computed using five year moving averages. The data sources and various measures of political violence available are assessed in terms of validity and reliability. A composite index of "the total magnitude of civil strife," developed by Gurr and Ruttenberg, is used to measure the amount of political violence. The results of across-sectional correlation analysis for a sample of forty-seven underdeveloped countries indicate zero relationships between the four independent variables and political violence. A lack of covariation within the total sample may obscure significant correlations of opposite sign within specified subsamples. Accordingly, the sample is subdivided into three relatively homogeneous socio-economic regions and four political system types. The extent and direction of the relationships does vary according to region and type of political system. The variation is not large.

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