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Fighting for Votes: Theory and Evidence on the Causes of Electoral Violence

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  • Olivier Sterck

Abstract

I develop a theory of pre‐electoral violence, in which parties resort to violent tactics if political competition is tight and violent supporters are numerous, and if polarization between violent supporters is high. The importance of these conditions varies with the type of violence (clashes, intimidation or murders). I test the model using data on the 2010 elections in Burundi. In line with the model, electoral violence before the election was more likely in municipalities characterized by both close political competition and high density of demobilized combatants. Violence was also more likely where polarization between demobilized combatants was high.

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  • Olivier Sterck, 2020. "Fighting for Votes: Theory and Evidence on the Causes of Electoral Violence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(347), pages 844-883, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:87:y:2020:i:347:p:844-883
    DOI: 10.1111/ecca.12321
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    JEL classification:

    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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