Violent Victors: Why Bloodstained Parties Win Postwar Elections
by Sarah Zukerman Daly
One of the great puzzles of electoral politics is how parties that commit mass atrocities in war often win the support of victimized populations to establish the postwar political order. Violent Victors traces how parties derived from violent, wartime belligerents successfully campaign as the best providers of future societal peace, attracting votes not just from their core supporters but oftentimes also from the very people they targeted in war.
Drawing on more than two years of groundbreaking fieldwork, Sarah Daly combines case studies of victim voters in Latin America with experimental survey evidence and new data on postwar elections around the world. She argues that, contrary to oft-cited fears, postconflict elections do not necessarily give rise to renewed instability or political violence. Daly demonstrates how war-scarred citizens reward belligerent parties for promising peace and security instead of blaming them for war. Yet, in so casting their ballots, voters sacrifice justice, liberal democracy, and social welfare.
Proposing actionable interventions that can help to moderate these trade-offs, Violent Victors links war outcomes with democratic outcomes to shed essential new light on political life after war and offers global perspectives on important questions about electoral behavior in the wake of mass violence.
This event will be in person at the Heyman Center and live-streamed online. Please register for both in-person and virtual attendance via the link.
Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.
About the Author
Sarah Zukerman Daly is an associate professor of political science at Columbia University. She has been a visiting associate research scholar in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and a post-doctoral fellow in the Political Science Department and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Her book, Organized Violence after Civil War: The Geography of Recruitment in Latin America, was published by Cambridge University Press in its Comparative Politics series in 2016.
About the Speakers
Lisa Anderson is a Special Lecturer and James T. Shotwell Professor Emerita of International Relations at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Anderson’s scholarly research has included work on state formation in the Middle East and North Africa; on regime change and democratization in developing countries; and on social science, academic research and public policy both in the United States and around the world. Among her books are The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (1986) and Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (2003).
Michael Gilligan is a Professor of Politics and Director of Undergraduate Studies at New York University. His research explores the effects of various types of international interventions (peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction aid, and ex-combatant reintegration programs) on the societies in which those interventions are undertaken. He continues to have ongoing research interest in using formal models to understand international cooperation.
Justin Phillips is a Professor of and the chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. He studies American state and urban politics and public opinion. He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. His current research projects include analyzing the effects of public opinion on sub-national policymaking and evaluating the power of state governors in negotiations with legislatures.
Andreas Wimmer is a Swiss sociologist who is the Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy at Columbia University. His research brings a long-term historical and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how racial and ethnic hierarchies form or dissolve in the process, and when this will result in conflict and war. Most recently, he is trying to understand how ideas and institutions travel across the world and with what consequences.