Democracy and the Threat of Revolution: New Evidence

Yves here. This piece looks at events like Arab Spring and the revolutions of 1848 and concludes they were more successful than is commonly thought. When they did not succeed in overthrowing governments, they still led to reforms.

By Toke S. Aidt, Senior University Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics at University of Cambridge, Gabriel Leon, Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University, Raphael Franck, Professor at the Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, and Peter S. Jensen, Lecturer in Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy, King’s College London. Originally published at VoxEU

Some theories suggest that the threat of revolution plays a pivotal role in democratisation. This column provides new evidence in support of this hypothesis. The authors use democratic transitions from Europe in the 19th century, Africa at the turn at the 20th century, and the Great Reform Act of 1832 in Great Britain. They find that credible threats of revolution have systematically triggered pre-emptive democratic reforms throughout history.

The threat of Revolution Hypothesis

The wave of violent protests that swept across north Africa and parts of the Middle East during the Arab spring between 2010 and 2012 coincided with the fall of several long-established autocracies; in those that survived, policy reforms and redistributive policies aimed at calming the masses were hastily implemented. A century and a half before, something similar happened in western Europe. The revolutions in France and parts of Germany in 1848 were followed by democratic reforms in Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Episodes like these lend credence to the hypothesis that revolutions, riots, and other types of violent protest can trigger democratic change. The hypothesis is appealing because it resolves the franchise extension puzzle, namely why would incumbent autocrats with a monopoly on political power, and often on economic resources, agree to share their power with broader segments of the population whose goals they do not share? The threat of revolution hypothesis, developed in the work of Acemoglu and Robinson (2000, 2006) and Boix (2003) amongst others, suggests that autocrats might do so when they face a credible threat of revolution that, if successful, would eliminate their entire power base. Seen in this perspective, the reactions of autocrats in the Arab world today, and of monarchs in western Europe 150 years ago, are pre-emptive responses to a credible threat of revolution.

Not everyone agrees with this interpretation, however. In his discussion of democratic reforms between 1830 and 1930, Roger Congleton (2010, p. 15), for example, argues that: “In essentially all cases [countries], liberal reforms were adopted using pre-existing constitutional rules for amendment. In no case [country] is every liberal reform preceded by a large-scale revolt, and in most cases, there are examples of large-scale demonstrations that failed to produce obvious reform”.

Democratisation is a multi-faceted process and the challenge is to gauge the boundaries between the threat of revolution hypothesis and alternative explanations of the root causes of democracy. Establishing how far the threat of revolution hypothesis explains democratic transitions is, however, difficult for two reasons.

  • Firstly, it is the threat of revolution that matters and that is hard to quantify.
  • Secondly, if observed social protest is used as a proxy for the underlying threat, it is hard to establish if the threat causes democratisation or if both occur because of something else.

In a series of papers (Aidt and Jensen 2014, Aidt and Leon forthcoming, Aidt and Franck 2013, forthcoming), we use historical and recent data and a variety of identification strategies to engage with these issues. The picture that emerges from these studies, as well as from previous work by Przeworski (2009) and the recent study by Dorsch and Maarek (2015), is clear:

  • The threat of revolution is one of the causal drivers of democratisation.

New Evidence of the Threat of Revolution

To answer the question posed in the title, it would be ideal to study the entire universe of democratic transitions. Since this is not possible, as researchers we must focus on particular time periods, countries, or even on specific reforms. By studying many of these, it is possible to learn a great deal about the link between violence, riots, and revolutions and democratisation. Our work has so far studied three ‘cases’: Europe during the long 19th century, sub-Saharan Africa at the turn of the 20th century, and Great Britain in the 1830s.

Each case identifies observable events which demonstrate to the relevant incumbent rulers that the collective action problem associated with launching an effective challenge against their hold on power has been temporarily resolved. We then track how they react to these events, and, in particular, if they adopt democratic reforms. Of course, it remains to establish a causal link between the two and each case needs a context-specific identification strategy.

International transmission of information about regime contention is one way to capture variation in threat perceptions. Kurt Weyland (2014, p. 120), writing about the European revolutions of 1848, uses the example of Denmark to illustrate this logic: “the Danish King had more time [than the Prussian King] to see the wave of contention coming and noticed the costly clashes in Vienna (March 13-15) and Berlin (March 18-19); on March 21, he therefore offered these changes [a liberal democratic constitution] to the crowds gathering outside his palace in order to pre-empt violence”. In Aidt and Jensen (2014), we study a panel of European countries during the first wave of democratisation (1820-1938). We explore the idea that actual revolutions in neighbouring countries served as signals to monarchs and potential revolutionaries in other countries about how threatening the situation was. We find a very robust relationship between these revolutionary events and suffrage reforms, which is stronger for countries that were linguistically or geographically close to the epicentres of the revolutions.

  • Our estimates show that a revolution somewhere in Europe was associated with a 75% increase in the odds of a suffrage reform in the neighbouring countries.

Our work on democratic change in sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2007 demonstrates that the link between the threat of revolution and democratisation is not unique to the first wave of democratisation in Europe (Aidt and Leon forthcoming). Here, we quantify the extent of regime contention with data on domestic riots. Since riots and political change are driven by multiple causes, we employ instrumental variable techniques to uncover the true effect of riots on democratic change. Inspired by Brückner and Ciccone (2011), Burke and Leigh (2010) and Franck (forthcoming), we use weather shocks (droughts) to instrument for political action. There are many reasons why droughts might lead to riots; for instance, the temporary reduction in income lowers the opportunity cost of contesting power, drought creates hardship in the countryside and leads to migration into cities that exacerbates existing tensions and worsens overcrowding, among others. We find that the probability of democratic change increases by 16.7 percentage points as a consequence of the impact drought has on riots.

While our studies of democratisation in Europe and Africa explore cross sections of countries over time, our study on the Great Reform Act of 1832 focuses on a major episode of democratic change in Great Britain (Aidt and Franck 2013, forthcoming). We explore the geographical dispersion of a rural uprising – the so-called Swing Riots – that took place in between the last two elections conducted under the rules of the ‘unreformed parliament’ in 1830 and 1831, respectively. We estimate the effect of riots that happened in the immediate neighbourhood of a constituency on the likelihood that it elected a reform-friendly politician to serve in the 1831 parliament which adopted the Great Reform Act. Of course, any correlation between local riots and the electoral success of reform-friendly politicians could be caused by many factors. We, therefore, explore that the riots spread through local social interaction effects along the pre-existing road network to isolate the exogenous variation in exposure to local riots. Our instrumental variable and matching estimates suggest that the two reform-friendly parties would not have obtained a majority in the House of Commons had it not been for the Swing Riots. Without such a majority, the reform process would have most likely been stopped.


The threat of a revolution plays a pivotal role in the theory of democratisation developed by Acemoglu and Robinson in a sequence of papers and in their book, The Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. The theory emphasises that democratisation happens at critical junctures in history. Our evidence supports this interpretation. However, our studies, and the threat of revolution theory itself, do not rule out that complex interactions between underlying, slow-moving economic processes, e.g., industrialisation, urbanisation, income growth, international trade, and inequality, and democratic triggers could be important. The ‘revolutionary shocks’, e.g., revolutions in other countries, exposure to local riots, or drought-induced protest, may push a country over a threshold and induce rulers to implement democratic reforms, but only if the underlying fundamentals of the economy are ‘close’ to the threshold to begin with.

See original post for references

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. vlade

    No suprise there. There’s a counterpoint though – the actual revolutions rarely deliver the expectations of the revolutionaries on their timeframes. An interesting implication then is that a credible threat of revolution is better than the actual revolution.

    One doesn’t have to go that far for an example even. There’s an argument that the middle-class life was good in 50s/60s to stave the spread of communist revolution, and only when that threat receded we got the rampant capital stupidity (and a death-wish) we see now.

    1. Banger

      There’s an argument that the middle-class life was good in 50s/60s to stave the spread of communist revolution, and only when that threat receded we got the rampant capital stupidity (and a death-wish) we see now.

      Good point–but it wasn’t a Communist revolution they feared but a movement towards social-democracy of the Euro model. It was also why the Establishment gave a green light to the Civil Rights movement (with much foot dragging by J. Edgar Hoover and other reactionaries). The idea there was more that other countries would not accept U.S. imperialist ambitions if they saw the U.S. as an apartheid society.

      1. EoinW

        They played that hand well. Even with Europe and Canada proving social democracy to be a success, they’ve still succeeded in undermining that success and now have captured the elites in those countries and have all of western society moving their way. A shame it’s off a cliff.

      2. NoFreeWill

        And why, do you think, was social democracy in Europe a success? Perhaps because they were right next to the Soviet Union which had a revolution and also funded quite popular Communist parties all throughout Western Europe? It’s almost as if the threat of revolution had something to do with it…

  2. John Steinbach

    Roger Congleton was my professor (Environmental Economics) at George Mason. He is a fellow at the Cato Institute and somewhat reactionary.

    It seems to me that the thesis that revolution and the threat of often leads to reforms is self evident.

    1. James

      Hardly surprising then that heavily militarized counter-revolutionary forces are already being assembled here in the “homeland.” The prospective second American revolution has been on the Pentagon’s to do list for quite some time now. As long as they can retain the manpower to do so at least, and all signs so far say they can, they should have (and have had) no trouble at all quashing disturbances here at home just as efficiently as they have in Syraqistan and anywhere else. Which is to say they’ll make a bloody mess of things in the process and generally cause more problems for the local populace than they solve, but that’s of course by design in the first place. On the upside, in the aftermath we’ll get to see first hand if revolution continues to drive democratization or not. My guess is, not so much.

      1. Gaylord

        You’re talking about violent revolution, but it doesn’t have to be violent — a general strike and refusal to pay taxes will do the trick. They can’t put everyone in jail.

    2. sufferin' succotash

      I’m not familiar with anything by Congleton, but the passage cited has some serious problems.
      “In essentially all cases [countries], liberal reforms were adopted using pre-existing constitutional rules for amendment.”
      Well, no. The introduction of universal male suffrage in France marked a complete break with the Charter (constitution) enacted in 1815 which provided for only a limited franchise. The Prussian Constitution of 1850 did not include one-man one vote suffrage, but allowing for any large-scale popular vote at all would have been unthinkable before 1848. The liberal constitution granted by Piedmont’s King Carlo Alberto represented a 180-degree turnaround from the pre-1848 absolutist political system.
      “In no case [country] is every liberal reform preceded by a large-scale revolt,”
      The already-cited examples of France and Prussia were serious cases of “large-scale revolt” which produced liberal reforms. In addition, the revolts in Austria and across the German Confederation resulted in liberal reforms–the Frankfurt Assembly, Kremsier Constitution–which were abortive but which pointed the way towards constitutional governments in the 1860s.
      Environmental economics may not provide the best basis of expertise for understanding mid-19th century European history. A history book might be more informative–such as Jonathan Sperber’s The European Revolutions, 1848-1851.

          1. Propertius

            It’s a “full point” in Judo – a single technique delivered with sufficient power and perfection of technique to win a match all by itself.

  3. Moneta

    Even if it does not instantly lead to reforms it forces a large part of the population to actually think and talk about the situation.

    For example, before the student strike in Québec, nearly no one was thinking or talking about the post secondary education system. It just was. The revolt forced everyone to think about it. The students did not really win that big but the whole thing started a conversation that was not happening.

    This revolt has probably forced many people to look into things and get more informed. Their way of thinking will not change instantly but will evolve over time because of this revolt and this will impact the system. The longer this takes, the less we will be able to link it to the student revolt even if the revolt had an impact in changing opinions by forcing people to look at the situation when it was not even on their radar before. One of the arguments will be that it went through the system using the existing laws and regulations so the revolt served no purpose…

  4. James Levy

    I’m underwhelmed. First off, what do the authors mean, concretely, by democratization? Do they mean the solid majority of the people actually now rule, as in the creation of a democracy, or that representative institutions are either created or strengthened? I mean, the 1905 Revolution created the Duma, but it was a nothing institution–do they count that as “democratization following the threat of an all-out revolution”? My guess is that they see the kind of 19th century economic concessions to the bourgeoisie as their real indicator of “democratization” (they are, after all, Economists), but that in practice has nothing to do with democracy as “rule of the people.”

      1. gordon

        There are just as many would-be propagandists in the History Faculty as there are in the Faculty of Economics. Be careful of that “conventional”.

      2. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        A lot of the revolutionary activity taking place in 48 was nationalistic in nature (Hungarians, Poles &c)

    1. hunkerdown

      Seems Congleton’s mostly concerned himself with popular suffrage, and Smokin’ Joe Stalin had a few things to say about that.

  5. EoinW

    Certainly a “Made For The 21st Century” idea. The majority of us can watch from a comfortable distance while the less fortunate members of society take to the streets and risk their lives to frighten our leaders into democratic reforms. Very convenient, plus we need not make any sacrifice. Of course, not putting ourselves out is what has destroyed our democracies in the first place.

    I can see connecting the 19th century King of Danmark with today’s King of Jordan or Morocco, however I’m not sure about any connection to the West’s post democratic situation. 200 years ago the trend was towards more democracy. The American and French Revolutions had much to do with this. 19th century rulers surely feared the fate of the French aristocrats. Today there is no such threat facing our rulers, who likely believe their own propaganda as much as anyone. Thus the trend continues to be towards less democracy, with an apathetic public quite happy to give up its say in running things so long as it is compensated with entertainment and its comfort isn’t degraded too much all at once. Our elites have managed this masterfully. They’ve no reason to fear the 99% suddenly rising up. There’s simply no indication that’s going to happen yet. What they haven’t managed well is the global economy and that’s the fly in the ointment. However, I’m sure they believe that human beings have a great ability to endure hardships and will choose that over a violent lashing out, until they feel they have no choice.

    The French and Russian revolutions were a century in the making. Plenty of time for our rulers to continue to enjoy their reign. Their subjects have hardly begun to suffer. Most of us posting here haven’t suffered at all. I don’t see our leaders being frightened into changing their ways because there is no credible sign that revolution is coming to the West. The funny thing is that as targets go they are as exposed as any autocrats have ever been. We know who they are. Very large targets if a credible terrorist threat actually existed. But when the 99% get desperate they throw shoes or pies in the face. What’s to be frightened about that? Throw one Charlotte Corday into the mix and you’ll get their attention. But we 99% are too morally superior for violence like that. The effect of our elites promoting their peace loving society? Better to make the best of a bad situation than dirty our consciences. It’s more convenient anyway.

    1. Moneta

      IMO, we are in the early innings…

      Marin: Unfortunately, policymakers are often driven
      by the politics, which is what happened recently in
      the case of France and a bit in the case of Germany.
      More and more, people are waking up to this issue,
      and policymakers are spending more time thinking
      about how they should deal with it. The only
      solution I see is to fix the future hole first by shifting
      as much as possible away from defined benefit and
      pay-as-you-go plans and then to figure out how to
      bring more assets in to fund the crisis. The only way I
      see to bring in more assets quickly enough is through
      privatizations. There will be a big public debate
      about it, but there will not be any other choice.
      People are becoming more aware of the issue.
      For example, finances in the city of San Jose,
      California, got so bad that all municipal employees
      were being paid minimum wage no matter what
      their jobs were. It was becoming a big crisis in the
      city. A smart journalist decided to publish all of
      the roles of the retirees and how much money they
      were receiving. One of them was a retired fire chief
      who was earning about $97,000 a year in retirement.
      He was in the grocery store buying steak and beer,
      and some people in the grocery store who had read
      the article that day ran him out of the store without
      his steak and beer
      . I expect that policymakers will
      respond when people make more scenes like that.

      1. OIFVet

        Ah yes, depriving them boomers with large pensions from their steak and beer will wake up the elites into cutting pensions, thus solving the problem. Let them all eat democracy, say I.

        1. skippy

          Only – more – neoliberalism will fix what neoliberalism has wrought….

          Skippy…. Metaphysical Gnosticism gone horribly wrong and the human body, is perceived as evil and constrictive, a deliberate prison for its inhabitants, their just trying to get out….lmmao~

  6. vidimi

    the bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the subsequent fear of communism had a tremendous effect on labour laws in the west. two-day weekends and 40-hour weeks probably wouldn’t exist without that. we now need another revolution to get us to a 4-day, 24-hour week.

  7. Vatch

    There’s a saying in the game of chess:

    The threat is stronger than its execution.

    This is usually attributed to Aron Nimzowitsch, although Savielly Tartakower sometimes gets the credit. There’s event some folklore that has developed around the phrase, which is discussed by Edward Winter here.

    1. diptherio

      For any other chess nerds out there, I recommend Mato Jelic’s Youtube channel. He goes through classic games and does a good job of making useful (and succinct) commentary.

      My favorite chess quote, from I don’t know who: “Life is not long enough for chess, but that is the fault of life and not of chess.”

    2. diptherio

      Might be some pretty good overall advice for strategy in many contexts. From your link:

      ‘Consequently, when you are attacking a piece or pawn that will keep; when you cannot be prevented from occupying some point of vantage, from which your adversary may be anxious to dislodge you; when you can check now or later, with at least equal effect; in these and all such circumstances – be cautious. Do not play a good move too soon. For when you do play it, the worst of it becomes known to your antagonist, who, then free from all doubt or apprehension as to its future happening, is enabled to order his attack or defence accordingly. Therefore reserve it reasonably, thus stretching him on the rack of expectation, while you calmly proceed in development, or otherwise advance the general interests of your position.’ [emphasis added]

  8. Banger

    I think the authors make a lot of sense as far as it goes. In the post-modern reality of the multi-cultural state “revolution” as it was expressed in 1848 and in the Arab Spring (I don’t seen that as equivalent to 1848, btw–it is much more complicated) is not a real possibility and therefore the authorities have no reason to fear it. Why? Because, if you take the U.S. as an example, the society is too divided to be unified about anything. Often it is hard to get soldiers to fire on their fellow countrymen/women but I doubt that you’d have much trouble getting cops and most soldiers to shoot African Americans and white upper-middle class leftists. The danger in the U.S. is not from revolution but chaos/anarchy and I don’t think the ruling elites believe it would ever get unmanageable considering how easy it would be to hire guys with guns.

    The danger the ruling elites face is mainly from their own factionalism–and that’s our leverage. “The people” thing is over because, barring direct democracy (which the elites would have to favor), it has been thoroughly gamed.

    1. flora

      Without getting into violent revolution potentials in the US (and you may be right), I do think the Occupy movement has had an impact. I think the many states recently raising their minimum wage levels above the fed govt levels is in part a result of Occupy raising awareness about the low end economy in a way that was hard to ignore. So, I think the “people” thing is still important and viable.

  9. Otter

    “The wave of violent protests that swept across north Africa and parts of the Middle East during the Arab spring between 2010 and 2012 coincided with the fall of several long-established autocracies; in those that survived, policy reforms and redistributive policies aimed at calming the masses were hastily implemented.”

    Libya? Egypt? Bahrain? Syria?

  10. Jim

    What if the origins of revolution can be found in the attempted modernization of the State?

    Did the failed State modernization moves of James the II in England in the early 1680s, of Louis the XVI in France in the late 1780, or the Shah of Iran in the late 1960s, help to set off revolutions in these countries?

    Is it conceivable that a type of state modernization in the sense of greater centralization (despite overwhelming anti-state rhetoric) has taken place in the US over the past 40 years and is continuing to accelerate?

    Has this type or State modernization in the U.S. consisted of de-democrization and increasing centralization of power, the increasing professionalization of the military and the police, the expansion of security and surveillance activities, and an increasing reliance on certain State institutions (Federal Reserve, Treasury) to promote economic”growth” laying the foundation for a revolution in the US?

    1. Moneta

      It’s an interesting point. IMO, many structures in our society are antiquated. We could start with the justice system that has not even begun adapting to new discoveries in how the brain works.

      And I think we are seeing the incumbents fighting like crazy to keep the status quo but over time, the truth and knowledge always take over.

  11. gordon

    A position which sounds related to Prof. Congleton’s is that violence is never justified in pursuit of social change. This is a position which was argued at considerable length at Crooked Timber a few years ago:

    I argued against it on the basis of the historical record, and found myself opposed by people who apparently believed that the present world (or something very like it) would have appeared if there had been no violent revolts and revolutions in the past. That has got to be the most enormous counterfactual I have ever heard!

  12. RBHoughton

    I have studied the revolutions of America and France and have some insight into the complexion of those times but we want to talk about today. Governments have grown more knowledgeable since then. They have ubiquitous knowledge of all communications, they have long tamed the mainstream media, they control the economy in a way that could only have been dreamt about in former centuries.

    Political managers become aware of the link between their activities, so far as they influence the quality of life, and the responses of the people when isolated violent events occur that cause damage or injury to state property and staff. A game-changing event in USA was the Oklahoma bombing. That nicely put the civil service on one side and the people on the other.

    The expectation of trouble by our representatives and their preferred response has been clearly shown in the militarisation of the police whose function has developed from preventing crime and preserving tranquillity to subduing the people and ensuring obedience. The thesis of this article is unlikely or at best its Plan B. The political preference is clearly for a long period of orderly government.

    Slowly the realisation percolates through the community – we are the enemy, once we are attacked we will be called terrorists, our voices will be unheard by a complicit media (viz Manning, Assange, Hammond, Snowden, and the other glorious heroes of these days) and we abandon hope. If I start a protest group, some spook will join, he’ll propose a violent act and we will all be arrested as accessories and gaoled. In my democratic republic protest is forbidden. And the Great White Chief says “look on my works and despair”

    1. hunkerdown

      “Let them protest all they want as long as they pay their taxes.” -Alexander Haig?

      The “full faith and credit” of most governments is predicated on collecting sufficient taxes to fund public debt. Is failure to pay income tax a sufficiently revolutionary act?

  13. p78
    Frank Capra’s 1938 Best Picture winner You Can’t Take it With You:

    Grandpa Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore):”Why don’t you write a play about ism-mania?”
    Penny Sycamore:”Ism-mania?”
    Grandpa Vanderhof:”Yeah, sure. You know, communism, fascism, voodooism. Everybody’s got an ‘ism’ these days.”
    Penny Sycamore:”I thought it was an itch or something.”
    Grandpa Vanderhof:”It’s just as catching. When things go a little bad now days, you go out and get yourself an ‘ism’ and you’re in business.”
    Penny Sycamore:”I’ve got it, it might help Cynthia to have an ‘ism’ in the monastery!”
    Grandpa Vanderhof:”It might at that… only give her an American-ism. Let her know something about Americans. John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Edison and Mark Twain. When things got tough for those boys, they didn’t run around looking for ‘ism’s.
    Lincoln said, ‘With malice towards none, with charity to all’. Nowadays they say ‘think the way I do or I’ll bomb the daylights out of you’.”

    There was also a line about mailing pamphlets promoting red flags distribution in the neighborhood (but couldn’t find it youtub’d). As soon as they appear in the mail, the police comes to investigate.

  14. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    revolutions that are successful seem to so be because they are vehicles of a dissatisfied sector of the ruling class that harnesses the anger of common people. Then they set up an oligarchy or dictatorship that treats the masses with the same casual contempt that the ancien regime did. Meet the new boss/same as the old boss. The first thing George Washington did after becoming president was put down a tax revolt led by Jeffersons beloved yeoman farmers. Napoleon turned the French Revolution into a recreation of Chalemagnes empire.

  15. Minor Heretic

    I recommend “The Anatomy of Revolution” by Crane Brinton. He looks at the British (1640s), American, French, and Russian revolutions as examples.

    One of his interesting points is that revolutions actually tend to start in times of expanding economic opportunity. The problem is that the middle and upper middle entrepreneurial classes feel that they are held back (“cramped” is his word) by the aristocracy above them. The core of the revolution is moderately well off people who hit the glass ceiling. Seems like what is happening in the U.S. today, substituting the 0.1% for the aristocracy.

    He also points out how the extremists always force out the moderates in the early stages. Then the moderates, the center of the bell curve, look at the left and the right after the old regime is gone and generally throw their lot in with the right. Witness Egypt and the misadventures of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The U.S. escaped a lot of the post-revolutionary drama because the revolutionaries were part of a preexisting local (semi) democratic governing structure.

    Brinton also explores the inevitable “Thermidor” or cooling off period, where the ardor of idealism is blunted by the realities of human nature.

    It’s a classic. Here’s a summary, if you like:

Comments are closed.