The impact of security issues on government evaluation: evidence from the Arab World

Alon P. Kraitzman, Jessica Genauer

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The literature on government popularity focuses on security and prosperity as two key factors that shape government evaluation. While a recent wave of studies explores the impact of these factors on public support in non-democratic countries, the Arab World is one region that has received relatively little scholarly attention. Beginning with the Arab Uprisings, ongoing national crises have created myriad security challenges for governments and led to greater political instability. Since under these conditions citizens tend to be more uncertain about the political environment, it is unclear how those who are concerned about security challenges can decide whether to reward or punish the incumbent government. This study proposes that individuals may use information about the economy to make a decision concerning the security-popularity linkage. Using individual-level data from 13 countries in the Arab World from 2010 to 2019, we find that citizens are more likely to reward or punish the government for security issues (external and internal) if their judgement is aligned with their economic sentiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-714
Number of pages22
Issue number4
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Arab World
  • political uncertainty
  • popularity function
  • Satisfaction with government
  • security issues


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