Why Kill Politicians? A Rational Choice Analysis of Political Assassinations
22 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2007
Date Written: May 2007
In the course of history a large number of politicians has been assassinated. A rational choice analysis is used to distinguish the expected marginal benefits of killing, and the marginal cost of attacking a politician. The comparative analysis of various equilibria helps us to gain insights into specific historical events.
The analysis suggests that - in addition to well-known security measures - an extension of democracy, a rule by a committee of several politicians, more decentralization via the division of power and federalism, and a strengthening of civil society significantly reduce politicians' probability of being attacked and killed.
Keywords: Rational choice, democracy, dictatorship, assassination, deterrence
JEL Classification: D01, D70, K14, K42, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation