This work will explore the effects of democratization on the tendency of groups to compete for power violently. Due to intense periods of political competition, extremist groups tend to choose violence to express their preferences, in efforts to outbid more conventional interest groups for power and influence. This dynamic occurs even in fully-developed industrial democracies, although religious elements can increase the lethality and indiscriminate nature of the violence. Although this dynamic exists, there may be creative ways that democracies can undermine the attractiveness of religious extremism while accepting that democracy comes with inherent risks.
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