Kenya, Liberia, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are scheduled to hold national elections in the next 24 months, and each has suffered various levels of election-related violence in the past. For election officials and civil society working towards peaceful elections in such countries, what are the most proven ways to prevent violence? The U.S. Institute of Peace held an online conversation via Twitter to discuss past and upcoming elections at risk of violence. Participants included the contributing authors of Electing Peace, a recent research volume that examines the effectiveness of common practices to prevent election violence.

poster for no violence in election

Do efforts to organize free and fair elections and programs to prevent election violence serve the same purpose? How could policymakers and practitioners prevent election violence more effectively? What do we know about what works, and what does not? USIP staff discussed these questions, and the findings of recent research, with election practitioners and election experts from around the world. The conversation preceded the public launch, in March, of Electing Peace, which can be ordered at the USIP bookstore. 

This online-only conversation was held January 25, at 11:00am EST with the hashtag #ElectingPeace.


Jonas Claes (@Belgian_in_DC)
Senior Program Officer for Preventing Election Violence, U.S. Institute of Peace

Elizabeth Murray (@murrayem)
Senior Program Officer for the Middle East and Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace

Geoffrey Macdonald (@geoffreymacdon) 
Postdoctoral Fellow, International Republican Institute

Dominik Tolksdorf (@Dtolksdorf)
Program Director for Foreign and Security Policy, Heinrich Boell Foundation North America 

Related Publications

The Dilemma for Kenya’s Police Amid the Pandemic

The Dilemma for Kenya’s Police Amid the Pandemic

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

By: Rebecca Ebenezer-Abiola

From Nigeria to the United States and beyond, the added pressures of COVID-19 have pushed community-police relations to the breaking point as police have found themselves thrust to the frontlines of the coronavirus response. This issue has been particularly acute in Kenya, where police were tasked with new responsibilities without proper equipment or information. The resulting confusion has been a catalyst for increased tensions between the police and everyday Kenyans — including reports of violent and heavy-handed crackdowns from police.

Type: Blog

Global HealthJustice, Security & Rule of Law

How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

Thursday, March 5, 2020

By: Nicoletta Barbera

A group of women gathered recently in Kiambu, an overcrowded Kenyan town, to build their local response to a national problem: recruitment, especially of young men, by extremist groups such as al-Shabab. Kiambu’s women form one of several groups nationwide that are launching local dialogues—typically among community members and authorities—to build well-rooted efforts to counter extremist influence. These groups are part of a network called Sisters Without Borders, which has risen from Kenya’s grassroots over the past five years. On the upcoming International Women’s Day, the story of Kenya’s sisters is worth noting as a success for women building peace and confronting terrorism in their homelands.

Type: Blog

GenderViolent Extremism

Conflict Prevention in Kenya: Combating Corruption through Nonviolent Action

Conflict Prevention in Kenya: Combating Corruption through Nonviolent Action

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

By: Tabatha Thompson;  Hussein Khalid

The relationship between corruption and violent conflict is complex and significant. Corruption affects access to basic services, contributes to resource scarcity, and fuels organized crime. It was included on a European Commission checklist for the root causes of conflict, and it was cited as a potential driver of extremism in the 2019 report of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States. Focusing on several social movements in Kenya, this report reviews the efforts of collective civic action to combat corruption and advance transparency, accountability, and good governance.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent ActionDemocracy & Governance

View All Publications