Mexico's Civil War Democracy

34 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013

See all articles by Andreas Schedler

Andreas Schedler

Central European University (CEU) - Democracy Institute

Date Written: 2013


Threats to the integrity of electoral democracy are manifold. The democratic quality of electoral contests can suffer damage from self-serving manipulation by central or subnational governments, foul play by contending parties and candidates, or the administrative incapacity or incompetence of election authorities. This paper focuses on a distinct form of threat that has received scant attention in the comparative literature: the societal subversion of democratic elections by criminal violence. Conceptually, the paper presents criminal violence as a form of horizontal threat against the integrity of liberal democratic elections. Empirically, it analyzes the ongoing civil war in Mexico (the so-called drug war) to illustrate the chilling effects criminal violence has on electoral d democracy.

Keywords: Civil war, criminal violence, electoral integrity, democratic quality, Mexico

Suggested Citation

Schedler, Andreas, Mexico's Civil War Democracy (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN:

Andreas Schedler (Contact Author)

Central European University (CEU) - Democracy Institute ( email )


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