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Research on negative campaigning has grown rapidly in the past decades. This article reviews the literature dealing with this campaign strategy. It discusses its definition and measurement and stresses the mismatch between the academic literature and general perceptions. It then reviews why parties and candidates choose to 'go negative' with a particular focus on the rationales for negative campaigning under multi-party competition. The manuscript further discusses the literature on electoraldoi:10.1057/s41253-019-00084-8 fatcat:dyu44oja4feddl7t5qmgtqvkqm