Feb 24, 2015
12:30pm - 1:30pm    |    The Puck Building , The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, 2nd Fl., 295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604

Featuring Mary Beth Altier, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Center for Global Affairs.

What explains the willingness of citizens to support armed groups at the polls? Paramilitary organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas have fared well in a series of recent elections deemed relatively free and fair by the international community. Few studies examine why these violent parties triumph at the polls in some contexts but struggle for votes in others. Yet, understanding when and why armed groups succeed in winning over large portions of the electorate is critical to creating policies that de-incentivize, at least electorally, their use of force. A better understanding of why these parties succeed also lends insight into the social bases of support for these organizations. Analysis of a new sub-national dataset that codes and combines census, election, and disaggregated conflict-related violence data for 78 electoral districts during Northern Ireland’s Troubles as well as fieldwork and comparative case studies across countries, suggests that support for these groups stems primarily from citizens’ perceptions of insecurity as a result of exposure to certain types of conflict-related violence. Discuss the implications of these findings for counterinsurgency policy and post-conflict reconstruction.

The Conflict, Security, and Development Series is co-presented by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law School, the Center for Global Affairs at NYU’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies, NYU’s Global Institute for Public Health, and the Office of International Programs at NYU Wagner.

Each Tuesday, this series will examine new research, discuss creative policy approaches and highlight recent analytical and practical innovations in responding to the challenges of security and development in the context of conflict and post-conflict situations.

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