Opposition Support and the Experience of Violence Explain Colombian Peace Referendum Results



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GIGA: German Institute of Global and Area Studies



What factors led to the surprise defeat of the Colombian peace referendum? Initial analyses suggested a link between support for peace and the experience of violence, but economic conditions and political support for incumbent parties also affect electoral outcomes. We use Bayesian hierarchical models to test links between referendum result and previous violence victimization, economic conditions, and support for Centro Democrático (the main party opposed to the peace agreement). There was less support for peace in the Andean region than in other regions, and departments with lower support had higher unemployment and growth in GDP. Support for the opposition was the dominant covariate of decreasing support for the peace accords, while previous violence victimization increased the proportion of votes for peace. In light of these results, regional variation in baseline support for the agreements – a complex variable governed by partisan engagement but also influenced by structural economic factors – will be critical during implementation of the newly revised accords. © 2018, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. All rights reserved.



Bayesian statistical decision theory, Colombia--Politics and government--21at century, Colombia--Social conditions


NSF DGE-1633299


CC BY-ND 3.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives), ©2018 The Authors