Tough Competition: A Comparative Study of Electoral Violence in New Democracies


Location: Hesburgh Center, Room C103

Leonardo Arriola, assistant professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Leonardo Arriola (Ph.D., Stanford University), assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, studies the problems of political coordination in African states. His Kellogg project investigates the conditions under which politicians around the world use electoral violence in their pursuit of power, thus threatening the fragile process of democratic consolidation.

With the goal of discerning how such violence influences political bargaining and power sharing, Arriola will draw upon his recently completed cross-national dataset of electoral violence for multiparty elections around the world between 1985 and 2005, and develop case studies on Kenya, Madagascar, and two non-African countries. The project builds on his dissertation research in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Senegal on the coalition-building strategies of politicians in African party systems.

Arriola’s most recent article is “Patronage and Political Stability in Africa” in Comparative Political Studies 42, 10 (2009). His book manuscript, “Opposition and Capital in Africa: Coalition Building in Multiethnic Societies,” is currently under review.