Replication Data for: Military Defection During Localized Protests: The Case of Tataouine
In May 2017, the Tunisian military allowed protesters to storm and shut down an oil valve in Tataouine, in contravention of a direct order from President Essebsi to defend the production site. While scholars have recently examined military defection during mass uprisings, these protests were small and localized. Why did the military disobey President Essebsi in Tataouine? Drawing upon a survey of military officers conducted six months prior to the defection, I show that the military's composition and corporate interests, rather than its professionalism, likely prompted its defection. The majority of the military hails from impoverished regions in Tunisia's neglected interior and identifies with the demands of protesters in these regions. The military also saw the curtailment of its material and political interests in early 2017, giving it little incentive to repress protesters on the regime's behalf. Methodologically, this study provides some of the first survey data of military officers’ attitudes toward defection.
Grewal, Sharan (2019), "Replication Data for: Military Defection During Localized Protests: The Case of Tataouine", Harvard Dataverse, doi: 10.7910/dvn/zqpwuj