Mexico's Civil War Democracy
34 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013
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
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