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Political Openness and Armed Conflict: Evidence from Local Councils in Colombia

Hector Galindo-Silva

No 16721, Vniversitas Económica from Universidad Javeriana - Bogotá

Abstract: In this paper, I empirically investigate how openness of political institutions to diverse representation can impact conflict-related violence. By exploiting plausibly exogenous variations in the number of councillors in Colombian municipalities, I develop two sets of results. First, regression discontinuity estimates show that larger municipal councils have a considerably greater number of political parties with at least one elected representative. I interpret this result as evidence that larger municipal councils are more open to political participation by more groups in society. The estimates also reveal that smaller parties are the main bene ciaries of this greater political openness. Second, regression discontinuity estimates show that political openness substantially decreases conflict-related violence, namely the killing of civilian non-combatants. By exploiting plausibly exogenous variations in local election results, I show that the lower level of political violence stems from greater participation by parties with close links to armed groups. Using data about the types of violence employed by these groups, the provision of local public goods, scal outcomes and coca cultivation, I argue that armed violence has decreased not because of power-sharing arrangements between the armed groups linked to the parties with more political representation, but rather because armed groups with less political power and visibility are deterred from initiating certain types of violence.

Keywords: Political openness; violence and armed conflict; councils (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 63
Date: 2018-09-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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Related works:
Journal Article: Political openness and armed conflict: Evidence from local councils in Colombia (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Political Openness and Armed Conflict: Evidence from Local Councils in Colombia (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Political Openness and Armed Conflict: Evidence from Local Councils in Colombia (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:col:000416:016721

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