Group Organization, Elections and Urban Social Disorder in the Developing World

Democratization, https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2021.1944117, Forthcoming

44 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017 Last revised: 1 Jul 2021

See all articles by Henry Thomson

Henry Thomson

Arizona State University; Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty

Halvard Buhaug

Peace Research Institute Oslo

Henrik Urdal

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

Elisabeth Rosvold

Peace Research Institute Oslo

Date Written: January 29, 2019

Abstract

Elections generate incentives for contention and violence. However, collective action problems mute responses to strategic incentives by unorganized individuals, relative to organized groups. Variation in the severity of collective action problems and the degree of strategic behavior results in distinct patterns of mobilization across these two types of groups that have been overlooked in previous literature. We explore variation in organized and unorganized political mobilization and violence at elections using new event data for over one hundred cities in the developing world from 1960-2014. We find that organized groups are more likely to mobilize before elections to influence their outcome, and under permissive opportunity structures at moderate levels of democracy. Mobilization by unorganized individuals occurs at and directly after elections but does not vary by regime type. Distinct mobilization patterns across group type are a major addition to our understanding of the link between elections, democracy, contention and violence.

Keywords: democratization, elections, conflict, urban politics

JEL Classification: D72, D74, O18

Suggested Citation

Thomson, Henry and Buhaug, Halvard and Urdal, Henrik and Rosvold, Elisabeth, Group Organization, Elections and Urban Social Disorder in the Developing World (January 29, 2019). Democratization, https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2021.1944117, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3054750

Henry Thomson (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Tempe, AZ
United States

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty

United States

Halvard Buhaug

Peace Research Institute Oslo ( email )

Oslo, NO-0134
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.hbuhaug.com

Henrik Urdal

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

Elisabeth Rosvold

Peace Research Institute Oslo

Oslo, NO-0134
Norway

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