Long consequences of civil war in Italy
The long-term electoral legacies of civil war in young democracies. Evidence from Italy 1946-1968
13 February 2018, h. 13.00
Speaker: Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford)
SPS Seminar Room (Room 215, II floor, via Passione side)
Dipartimento di Scienze sociali e politiche
Via Conservatorio 7, Milano
Are there long-term legacies of civil wars on the electoral geography of post-conflict democracies? We argue that parties derived from armed bands enjoy an organizational advantage in areas where they fought and won the war. Former combatants can create a strong local party organization that serves as a crucial mobilization tool for elections. Parties have strong incentives to institutionalize this organizational advantage and retain electoral strongholds over time. We test our theory on the case of Italy(1946-1968). Our findings indicate that, on average, the communist party managed to create a stronger organization in areas where its bands fought the resistance war against Nazi-fascist forces—and leftwing parties had a better electoral performance in those areas in subsequent elections. A stronger party organization is correlated with a positive electoral performance for many years, while the direct effect of civil war on electoral patterns decays after few years.