Increasingly aware of the risk of strife presented by elections in countries affected by conflict, governments and civil society need more effective approaches to prevent election-related violence. The U.S. Institute of Peace conducts research, training and fieldwork to develop evidence that will improve knowledge in this field and inform initiatives such as codes of conduct developed by police and elections officials to avert violence. USIP’s Academy also conducts extensive training and education on election violence prevention in Africa.
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 elections this year in the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and even the United States, demonstrate how high-stakes elections frequently trigger anxiety, tension or even violence or the threat of unrest. Properly managed elections allow opposing groups to press their claim to power through a peaceful process. But in fragile democracies, elections frequently feature intimidation or violent protest. U.S. Institute of Peace Senior Program Officer Jonas Claes, editor o...
Nine months after the Central African Republic (CAR) held free, peaceful and democratic elections for president and parliament, the country continues to struggle for stability and progress. Half of the country remains in need of humanitarian aid, and an increase in violent incidents since September threatens to destabilize any progress made to date. At the end of November, clashes between factions of the ex-Séléka, a formerly united alliance of primarily Muslim armed groups, left 85 dead, 76 injured and 11,000 newly displaced.