As the United States and the countries of Western Europe have sought to promote democratic rule in those parts of the world that have not enjoyed the blessings of liberty, they have failed to consider an important factor. Competitive elections, the sine qua non of democratic government, often gives rise to serious bouts of political violence: mob riots, inter-party fighting, and internal wars. The essays collected in this volume evaluate the relationship between terrorist activity and electoral politics. Do democratic elections themselves undermine the development and stability of the democratic institutions the United States and its allies seek to promote? Under what conditions are democratic elections effective at bringing terrorist organizations into the political process, thereby quelling violence? When and how might terrorist organizations use democratic elections to foment violence?
This book was published as a special issue of Terrorism and Political Violence.
1. Introduction on Violence, Elections, and Party Politics 2. Do Terrorist Attacks Increase Closer to Elections? 3. Religion, Government Coalitions, and Terrorism 4. The Electoral Terrorist: Terror Groups and Democratic Participation 5. Hamas as a Political Party: Democratization in the Palestinian Territories 6. Killing and Voting in the Basque Country: An Exploration of the Electoral Link Between ETA and its Political Branch 7. The Madrid Bombings and Negotiations With ETA: A Case Study of the Impact of Terrorism on Spanish Politics 8. Safety-Valve Elections and the Arab Spring: The Weakening (and Resurgence) of Morocco’s Islamist Opposition Party 9. Conclusions to the Special Issue on Violence, Elections, and Party Politics