Title

Voting in the Shadow of Violence: Electoral Politics and Conflict in Peru

Author Information

Johanna Birnir

Date of Publication

2018 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Transnational Organized Crime, Political Conflict and Violence

Description

Why do some insurgent groups with associated electoral parties target civilians despite the costs of doing so? Organizations with peaceful electoral wings and violent factions operating at the same time are common in contemporary democracies. One of the more consistent observations in the literature is that insurgent targeting of civilians is costly to their electoral counterpart, and insurgents are aware of this cost. Yet, many insurgent groups continue to target civilians. In this article, we suggest a localized effect of violence on electoral outcomes of parties with ties to violent groups offers an explanation for why such insurgent groups might continue to perpetrate violence. Specifically, we suggest insurgent benefits, measured as electoral costs to the incumbent for failure in stemming the violence, likely outweigh the localized electoral costs to insurgent-affiliated parties from the violence. Our subnational analysis of violence and electoral results across Peruvian provinces strongly supports our story.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Voting in the Shadow of Violence: Electoral Politics and Conflict in Peru

Why do some insurgent groups with associated electoral parties target civilians despite the costs of doing so? Organizations with peaceful electoral wings and violent factions operating at the same time are common in contemporary democracies. One of the more consistent observations in the literature is that insurgent targeting of civilians is costly to their electoral counterpart, and insurgents are aware of this cost. Yet, many insurgent groups continue to target civilians. In this article, we suggest a localized effect of violence on electoral outcomes of parties with ties to violent groups offers an explanation for why such insurgent groups might continue to perpetrate violence. Specifically, we suggest insurgent benefits, measured as electoral costs to the incumbent for failure in stemming the violence, likely outweigh the localized electoral costs to insurgent-affiliated parties from the violence. Our subnational analysis of violence and electoral results across Peruvian provinces strongly supports our story.