Surviving Elections: Election Violence, Incumbent Victory, and Post-Election Repercussions
57 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2011 Last revised: 24 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 10, 2015
This article examines how government-sponsored election violence influences the ability of incumbent leaders to win elections and remain in power. We argue that election violence is a costly tradeoff for governments. When used in the pre-election period, up to and including election day, government-sponsored election violence against opposition supporters, candidates, and the citizenry increases the probability that opposition political parties boycott the election and the incumbent wins. Yet pre-election violence also increases the probability of mass post-election protests by the opposition, which in turn raise the odds that the incumbent will be forced to make political concessions in the post-election period by stepping down or holding new elections. Violence against protesters does not change these odds.
Keywords: election violence, election protest, election manipulation, electoral revolution, leader tenure
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