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State violence, party formation, and electoral accountability: the political legacy of the Marikana massacre

De Kadt, Daniel, Johnson-Kanu, A. D.A. and Sands, Melissa L. (2023) State violence, party formation, and electoral accountability: the political legacy of the Marikana massacre. American Political Science Review. ISSN 0003-0554

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0003055423000448

Abstract

Democratic governments sometimes use violence against their people, yet little is known about the electoral consequences of these events. Studying South Africa's Marikana massacre, we document how a new opposition party formed as a direct result of violence, quantify significant electoral losses for the incumbent, and show that those losses were driven by voters switching from the incumbent to the new party. Three lessons emerge. First, incumbents who preside over state violence may be held electorally accountable by voters. Second, such accountability seemingly depends on the existence of credible opposition parties that can serve as a vector for disaffected voters. Where such parties do not exist, violence may create political cleavages that facilitate the formalization of opposition movements. Third, immediate proximity to violence is correlated with holding incumbents accountable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s).
Divisions: Methodology
Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2023 11:12
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 19:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119940

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