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Governance Uncovered: Local Politics and Development

Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters: Book Interview with Michael Wahman

Season 1, Ep. 52

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT


In today's episode, we are joined by Michael Wahman, Associate Professor at Michigan State University's Department of Political Science.

Host Ellen Lust and Michael discuss his book Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters, recently published by Oxford University Press. Michael's research leading up to this book, which spanned seven years, delves into the complex topic of electoral violence in Zambia and Malawi.

The interview delves into the concept of electoral violence, examining its manifestations and its broader impact on the electoral process. Michael's research highlights the significance of low-scale violence and the fear it instills among voters, especially women.

Furthermore, the interview explores the concept of geographically polarized electoral systems, a critical framework for understanding when and why electoral violence occurs. Michael explains how competition over territory, rather than individual voters, becomes a focal point in these systems, making election violence a tool for controlling space and shaping electoral outcomes.

Michael also provides some practical implications of his work, emphasizing the importance of taking low-scale violence seriously, working with domestic election observers, and finding local solutions to de-escalate election violence.


Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe if you liked the episode! And drop us a note on what you would like to hear next. We always like to hear from you!


Reference: Wahman, Michael. (2023). Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters: The Electoral Geography of African Campaign Violence. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198872825


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