When Do Governments Resort to Election Violence?

British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2010 Last revised: 25 Jan 2018

See all articles by Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy

Susan D. Hyde

University of California, Berkeley

Ryan S. Jablonski

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: September 6, 2012

Abstract

When are governments most likely to use election violence, and what factors can mitigate government incentives to resort to violence? How do the dynamics of election violence differ in the pre- and post-election periods? Our central argument is that an incumbent’s fear of losing power as the result of an election, as well as institutionalized constraints on the incumbent’s decision-making powers, are pivotal in her decision to use election violence. While it may seem obvious to suggest that incumbents use election violence in an effort to fend off threats to their power, it is not obvious how to gauge these threats, and a central purpose of our research is to identify sources of information about the incumbent’s popularity that can help predict the likelihood of election violence. The observable implications of our argument are tested using newly available cross-national evidence on elections, government use of pre- and post-election violence, and post-election protests from 1981 to 2004.

Keywords: Human Rights, Political Repression, Elections, Electoral Manipulation, Democratization, Electoral Authoritarianism

Suggested Citation

Hafner-Burton, Emilie Marie and Hyde, Susan D. and Jablonski, Ryan S., When Do Governments Resort to Election Violence? (September 6, 2012). British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1667063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1667063

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gps.ucsd.edu/ehafner/

Susan D. Hyde (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
5106424533 (Phone)

Ryan S. Jablonski

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://ryanjablonski.wordpress.com

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