Tigers, bombs, and ballots : measuring the effects of terrorism on electoral allegiance in Sri Lanka
Stratton, Rory William.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Terrorist and insurgent movements use violence as a means to achieve political ends. In democracies, terrorist attacks might induce voters to favor different parties based on their relative stances on matters of security. However, the mechanism by which violence affects electoral allegiance remains understudied. This paper uses data on terrorism and electoral outcomes from two consecutive Sri Lankan presidential elections to test several hypotheses related to an emerging theory of terrorism's effects on electoral preference. Research findings generally support the theory that periods of reduced terrorism benefit left bloc candidates while increases in terrorism benefit the right. However, the scale of violence locally does not appear to result in a proportional or pronounced local increase in support for the right above national trends, a fact that may owe in part to the nature of LTTE attacks. Analysis suggests that while terrorism appears to influence electoral preferences in Sri Lanka, factors of ethnicity, sector, and relative variation in party platforms from one year to the next pose a significant challenge to positively identifying significant trends.
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