Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia

This paper studies the effect of strengthening democracy, as captured by an increase in voting rights, on the incidence of violent civil conflict in nineteenth-century Colombia. Empirically studying the relationship between democracy and conflict is challenging, not only because of conceptual proble...

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Autores Principales: Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo, Vargas, Juan F.
Formato: Documento de trabajo (Working Paper)
Lenguaje:Inglés (English)
Publicado: Universidad del Rosario 2013
Materias:
Acceso en línea:http://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/10953
id ir-10336-10953
recordtype dspace
spelling ir-10336-109532019-09-19T12:37:01Z Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo Vargas, Juan F. Procesos sociales Democracia Violencia Conflicto armado::Colombia Partidos políticos::Aspectos Sociales Historia de Colombia Violencia::Aspectos Políticos Democracy Civil Conflict Colombia This paper studies the effect of strengthening democracy, as captured by an increase in voting rights, on the incidence of violent civil conflict in nineteenth-century Colombia. Empirically studying the relationship between democracy and conflict is challenging, not only because of conceptual problems in defining and measuring democracy, but also because political institutions and violence are jointly determined. We take advantage of an experiment of history to examine the impact of one simple, measurable dimension of democracy (the size of the franchise) on con- flict, while at the same time attempting to overcome the identification problem. In 1853, Colombia established universal male suffrage. Using a simple difference-indifferences specification at the municipal level, we find that municipalities where more voters were enfranchised relative to their population experienced fewer violent political battles while the reform was in effect. The results are robust to including a number of additional controls. Moreover, we investigate the potential mechanisms driving the results. In particular, we look at which components of the proportion of new voters in 1853 explain the results, and we examine if results are stronger in places with more political competition and state capacity. We interpret our findings as suggesting that violence in nineteenth-century Colombia was a technology for political elites to compete for the rents from power, and that democracy constituted an alternative way to compete which substituted violence. 2013 2015-10-02T17:21:13Z info:eu-repo/semantics/workingPaper info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersion http://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/10953 Universidad del Rosario eng info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess application/pdf Universidad del Rosario Facultad de Economía instname:Universidad del Rosario reponame:Repositorio Institucional EdocUR instname:Universidad del Rosario
institution EdocUR - Universidad del Rosario
collection DSpace
language Inglés (English)
topic Procesos sociales
Democracia
Violencia
Conflicto armado::Colombia
Partidos políticos::Aspectos Sociales
Historia de Colombia
Violencia::Aspectos Políticos
Democracy
Civil Conflict
Colombia
spellingShingle Procesos sociales
Democracia
Violencia
Conflicto armado::Colombia
Partidos políticos::Aspectos Sociales
Historia de Colombia
Violencia::Aspectos Políticos
Democracy
Civil Conflict
Colombia
Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo
Vargas, Juan F.
Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
description This paper studies the effect of strengthening democracy, as captured by an increase in voting rights, on the incidence of violent civil conflict in nineteenth-century Colombia. Empirically studying the relationship between democracy and conflict is challenging, not only because of conceptual problems in defining and measuring democracy, but also because political institutions and violence are jointly determined. We take advantage of an experiment of history to examine the impact of one simple, measurable dimension of democracy (the size of the franchise) on con- flict, while at the same time attempting to overcome the identification problem. In 1853, Colombia established universal male suffrage. Using a simple difference-indifferences specification at the municipal level, we find that municipalities where more voters were enfranchised relative to their population experienced fewer violent political battles while the reform was in effect. The results are robust to including a number of additional controls. Moreover, we investigate the potential mechanisms driving the results. In particular, we look at which components of the proportion of new voters in 1853 explain the results, and we examine if results are stronger in places with more political competition and state capacity. We interpret our findings as suggesting that violence in nineteenth-century Colombia was a technology for political elites to compete for the rents from power, and that democracy constituted an alternative way to compete which substituted violence.
format Documento de trabajo (Working Paper)
author Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo
Vargas, Juan F.
author_facet Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo
Vargas, Juan F.
author_sort Fergusson Talero, Leopoldo
title Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
title_short Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
title_full Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
title_fullStr Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
title_full_unstemmed Don't make war, make elections : Franchise extension and violence in XIXth-century Colombia
title_sort don't make war, make elections : franchise extension and violence in xixth-century colombia
publisher Universidad del Rosario
publishDate 2013
url http://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/10953
_version_ 1645140841501556736
score 12,131701