First Advisor

Lindsay Benstead

Term of Graduation

Winter 2024

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Dark Money, Democratic Repression, Indigenous Resistance

Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 143 pages)


This thesis explores state repression of disruptive protests against private development projects in democracies. Using a mixed methods approach, including logistic regression and case studies, the research identifies key factors influencing repression. Indigenous leadership, fragmented public opposition, and private elite influence increase the likelihood of violent repression. The findings suggest that when public resistance is insufficient against powerful private interests, coercive institutions resort to violent strategies to quell disruptions and signal increased costs for future dissent. State repression is more likely when the protest movement is comprised of Indigenous groups than compared to those of the general public. The study offers insights into the complex interplay of societal, economic, and political factors shaping state repression in democratic states.


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