One of the most perplexing issues in contentious politics is whether political repression deters future contentious challenges. In order to understand this effect, it is important to look more broadly at what explains the persistence of contentious challengers. This study examines specific contentious challenges and assesses whether the challenger involved persisted by taking part in any subsequent challenges over the following twelve months. The results do not provide strong evidence of a direct, consistent impact of repression on persistence. However, the results consistently show that challengers are more persistent when they include organized groups, when they have staged previous challenges, when they seek regime change, when they oppose authoritarian regimes, and when they have mobilized more participants in protests. A key argument presented is that repression filters out less committed challengers, so that contentious challenges that emerge in more repressive situations are more persistent.

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