Which network configurations emerge in the Indian episodes of electoral violence between 1991 and 2009?

Bugra Güngör

Contact: bugra.gungor@graduateinstitute.ch

Electoral violence has been a persistent phenomenon over the last two decades. India stands out as an important case of electoral violence universe since the Indians have been exposed to different sorts of violence at varying levels before and after the elections in the last two decades. To prevent voters from the negative effects of electoral violence, it is crucial to identify its perpetrators and victims. In this paper, I produce an actors’ network analysis drawing on the recently published and most comprehensive data called Electoral Contention and Violence Dataset (Daxecker et al. 2019). The purpose of the paper is to identify the main actors involved in electoral violence events and the most/least violent ties between anti and pro-government actors. In total, the directed and multiplex networks of the Indian electoral violence have 843 events reported between 1991 and 2009 along with a plenty of anti and pro-government actors. As for the network modelling technique, ERGM has been used to understand (i) the activity (outgoing ties) and passivity (incoming ties) of the nodes (nodefactor); (ii) whether there is homophily among the nodes (nodematch); (iii) whether electoral violence have a statistical tendency for ties to be reciprocated (mutuality). The paper finds the following: Anti-government actors are more active than government actors. This means that government actors are more exposed to violence compared to anti-government actors. Second, there is a statistically significant tendency that ties are reciprocated. Lastly, the network entails heterophily as attacks mainly take place among different groups. Therefore, infighting is not of concern in the Indian case.

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