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Terrorism, Colonialism and Voter Psychology: Evidence from the United Kingdom

Author

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  • Jamal Bouoiyour

    (CATT - Centre d'Analyse Théorique et de Traitement des données économiques - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour)

  • Refk Selmi

    (CATT - Centre d'Analyse Théorique et de Traitement des données économiques - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour)

Abstract

Extant theory suggests that terrorist groups strategically plan their attacks around elections. This study investigates the impact of terrorism on voting behavior in the United Kingdom (UK). To address endogeneity concerns related to the possibility that terrorism may be a response to the elections results, we have conducted an instrumental variables approach that relies on the political participation of Commonwealth-origin migrant voters, taking into account the fact that the strength of the Commonwealth's commitment to its principles and values-including the promotion of human and political rights, tolerance, respect for diversity, coexistence, equity and fairness-may affect terror dynamics. In other words, we have connected terrorism to colonial policies and practices. In fact, the colonial rulers had established effective application of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights which would contribute to the success of counter-terrorism strategies. The results indicate that terrorism significantly affects the electorate's preferences. We have also found that the vote of the right-wing party is likely to be higher in localities near the home base of a terror incident and in localities adjacent to international borders, and lower in cities with a noticeable percentage of Muslims. The current UK economic conditions do not work to the advantage of the right-wing party. The results are statistically significant and robust across a multitude of model specifications and differing measures of terrorism.

Suggested Citation

  • Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2018. "Terrorism, Colonialism and Voter Psychology: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Working Papers hal-01687662, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01687662
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01687662
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berrebi, Claude & Klor, Esteban F., 2008. "Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism? Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 279-301, August.
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    Keywords

    Terrorism; Colonialism; Voter behavior; Elections; United Kingdom;
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