Electing Peace: Violence Prevention and Impact at the Polls examines election violence prevention and assesses the effectiveness of different prevention practices—which are effective, which are not, and under what circumstances.
The ongoing tension and turmoil in Haiti, Uganda, and Macedonia once again demonstrate the complex relationship between elections, democratic stability and peace. Peaceful elections help create the foundation for stable political transitions. But in poorly governed states, elections often trigger violence and intimidation.
Even in the tumultuous history of Bangladesh, the deadly campaign-related violence that plagued this year’s parliamentary elections seemed unprecedented. Hundreds reportedly were killed amidst bitter feuding between the governing Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. And yet the risk factors for such turmoil aren’t that different from difficult but more peaceful places like Malawi. A USIP project is examining those and three other cases to determine how and when electoral violence prevention efforts might be able to help.