Party bans: deterrence or backlash? Evidence from the Basque Country

Andreu Arenas (Barcelona Institute of Political Economy and Governance)
15th novembre 2018, 13:00h
Sala Annexa (B1/-109) de la Facultat de Ciències Polítiques i Sociologia de la UAB

This paper examines the electoral effects of party bans. Exploiting the finite and heterogeneous length of the ban of Batasuna -the political wing of ETA- across municipalities, I find a negative effect of a longer ban on support for Batasuna in local elections after the end of the ban, with spillovers on support in Basque regional elections. These effects are explained by the extent of the immediate loss in support under the ban in treated municipalities -that is observable because Batasuna called for a null vote. The loss in support is higher in municipalities that experienced more ETA attacks and where voters are more likely to be pivotal. Extending the ban triggers a short run spike in street violence that quickly vanishes.