What are the factors that make a country ripe for the sort of change we see in Egypt and Tunisia? Charles Blow in the New York Times looks at some data. He writes:
It is impossible to know exactly which embers spark a revolution, but it’s not so hard to measure the conditions that make a country prime for one.
Since the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, speculating about whether the fervor will spread and to which countries has become something of a world-watcher’s parlor game.
So I’ve decided to give over much of my space this week to providing more data for that discussion.
As The New York Times headline declared earlier this week, “Jobs and Age Reign As Factors in Mideast Uprisings.” And the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy has used levels of democracy to identify countries at risk around the world.
These are solid measures, but I would add spending on essentials like food (there is nothing like food insecurity to spur agita), income inequality and burgeoning Internet usage (because the Internet has been crucial to the organization of recent uprisings).
See chart below (click to enlarge)
I would add participation of women as discussed last week on The Lead.