As the United States and the countries of Western Europe have
sought to promote democratic rule in those parts of the world that
have not enjoyed the blessings of liberty, they have failed to
consider an important factor. Competitive elections, the sine qua
non of democratic government, often gives rise to serious bouts of
political violence: mob riots, inter-party fighting, and internal
wars. The essays collected in this volume evaluate the relationship
between terrorist activity and electoral politics. Do democratic
elections themselves undermine the development and stability of the
democratic institutions the United States and its allies seek to
promote? Under what conditions are democratic elections effective
at bringing terrorist organizations into the political process,
thereby quelling violence? When and how might terrorist
organizations use democratic elections to foment violence? This
book was published as a special issue of Terrorism and Political
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