Why Do States Intervene in the Elections of Others?
43 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 9, 2019
Why do states intervene in elections abroad? We specify the conditions giving rise to election interference among states. Outsiders intervene when the main domestic contenders for office espouse different policy positions of interest to the outside powers. Policy polarization between domestic political forces rather than a state's "unfriendliness’’ is what counts. We provide a new and unique measure to track the policy positions of local contenders. We show that the new policy polarization measure outperforms a number of available alternatives. We use it to predict the behavior of the United States and of the United Kingdom as an interveners in the elections of others. Our work may be a benefit to multiple subfields of political science and has substantial policy relevance.
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