USIP Press Releases Voting in Fear
New Book Addresses the Causes of Electoral Violence and Prevention Strategies
- describes the incidents, patterns, and scope of electoral violence in sub-Saharan Africa since 1990;
- accounts for how democratization, political economy, and institutional capacity and structure affect the probability of electoral violence;
- considers the impact of patronage resources on electoral politics;
- cautions against reliance on postelection political agreements that do not include institutional reform;
- acknowledges how the payoff from electoral violence encourages its emergence;
- identifies critical interventions that can mitigate electoral violence.
“While this phenomenon happens in other regions,” says Bekoe, “the book’s focus on Africa—Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana, specifically—is an opportunity to study electoral violence among a group of countries that have come of age and embarked on democratization at roughly the same time.”
The book also introduces the only known dataset of electoral violence in Africa, compiled by Straus and Taylor, spanning from 1990 to 2008. “The African Electoral Violence Dataset (AEVD) allows scholars and policymakers to determine the frequency, intensity, scope, and nature of electoral violence in Africa over eighteen years,” states Bekoe.