Terror at the Polls: An Analysis of Democratic Reactions to Terrorism
I first conceived of this project in the aftermath of the 2004 train attacks and subsequent elections in Spain. When Spain voted its incumbent party out of office a mere three days after the worst single terrorist attack in Spanish history, a number of commentators in the United States seemed to believe that the Spain had engaged in a democratic capitulation to terrorism. Implicit in such arguments was a normative critique. "Here in America," these commentators seemed to be saying, "We rally around our leaders in times of crisis. Look at how we rallied around Bush after September 11 tho This is how you Spaniards ought to act." I had studied in Madrid during the 2003 Iraq war and I suspected that it was not that simple. After talking to a number of Spaniards abroad, I knew that the depth of support for the incumbent Partido Popular party in Spain was quite thin to begin with. I knew that a number of people were fed up with the perceived arrogance of the PP, particularly its leader Jose Maria Aznar. I suspected that the reason for the PP's collapse may have been the way in which its leadership had conducted itself in the aftermath of the train attacks.
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