Electoral violence: Comparing theory and reality

Type Report
Title Electoral violence: Comparing theory and reality
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://econ.msu.edu/seminars/docs/WallsworthElectionViolenceSept2014Draft.pdf
Various studies on election violence in Africa have found violence to mar as high as eightypercent of African elections. Using Round 5 Afrobarometer survey data from 35 African countries in 2011, 48 percent of respondents reported some fear of election violence. This paper examines the impact of election violence on voting behavior through the lens of several theoretical models. We find some support for a key assumptions made by these models, election
violence is associated with a reduction in voter turnout, particularly among undecided voters. However, we do not find strong support for key predictions made by any of the models. We argue this is due in part to an inability for current data to determine the perpetrator of election violence, and conclude that a variety of explanations for election violence each partially explain its occurrence.

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