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Surviving Elections: Election Violence, Incumbent Victory and Post-Election Repercussions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 December 2016

Abstract

It is often assumed that government-sponsored election violence increases the probability that incumbent leaders remain in power. Using cross-national data, this article shows that election violence increases the probability of incumbent victory, but can generate risky post-election dynamics. These differences in the consequences of election violence reflect changes in the strategic setting over the course of the election cycle. In the pre-election period, anti-incumbent collective action tends to be focused on the election itself, either through voter mobilization or opposition-organized election boycotts. In the post-election period, by contrast, when a favorable electoral outcome is no longer a possibility, anti-government collective action more often takes the form of mass political protest, which in turn can lead to costly repercussions for incumbent leaders.

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© Cambridge University Press 2016 

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Footnotes

*

School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego (email: ehafner@ucsd.edu); Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley (email: susanhyde@berkeley.edu); Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science (email: r.s.jablonski@lse.ac.uk). Replication data is available at https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/BJPolS and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S000712341600020X.

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