Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Lewis Davis




Arab Spring, democracy, income, revolution


The Arab Spring consisted of a series of revolutions throughout the Arab world that attempted to remove dictatorial powers and institute democratic reform. However, the events after the Arab Spring beg the question of whether these nations will achieve their intended ends. Various factors have been identified to affect the level of democracy in nation including income levels, colonization history, and income inequality, among others. However, recent literature focuses on the role that cultural values play in affecting the development of political institutions. Cultural values play an interesting role during political disequilibrium. Revolutions represent the breakdown of formal institutions. During this time, prior research finds that people use informal institutions (culture) to guide their decision making. The level of democracy after a revolution should be highly affected by the cultural values on the people within a nation. Using an OLS and two stage least squares approach, I develop models to predict the level of democracy after a period of political disequilibrium. The PolityIV database marks points of disequilibrium using special measures based on foreign intervention, anarchy and political transition. The average level of democracy after disequilibrium can be predicted with a model using various explanatory variables including income per capita, colonization history, income inequality and culture. Using instruments for cultural values, we find that values such as individualism have a significant impact on the level of democracy after a period of political disequilibrium.