ARCHIVES Danyliw Seminar 2018
University of Manchester (UK)
Dr. Olga Onuch (DPhil Oxford) is an Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Manchester. She is also an Associate of Nuffield College (Oxford) and The Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Onuch’s comparative study of protest and elections in Eastern Europe and Latin America has made her a leading expert in Ukrainian and Argentine politics specifically, but also in inter-regional comparative analysis.
The Impact of War on Voting Behavior:
The Case of Ukraine
Dr. Olga Onuch
What are the effects of conflict on voting behavior? Do perceptions and experiences of conflict shape patterns of political behavior, perhaps superseding the usual drivers, and, if so, what is their effect over time as the conflict unfolds? Few authors have been able to examine the effects of an escalating war over the course of two election cycles. Employing original panel survey data (which was combined with official electoral outcome data and geographic data accounting for proximity to conflict) this paper assesses the extent to which factors related to the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine influenced voting in the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections and weighs them against the influence of factors that more commonly influence voting. The research finds that while factors related to the conflict drive electoral behavior, this is mediated by proximity to conflict zone. There is also a lessening of the effect over time, as people become ‘accustomed to the war’.