Elections have emerged as one of the most important, and most contentious, features of political life on the African continent. In the first half of this decade, there were more than 20 national elections, serving largely as capstones of peace processes or transitions to democracies. The outcomes of these and more recent elections have been remarkably varied, and the relationship between elections and conflict management is widely debated throughout Africa and among international observers.

Elections can either help reduce tensions by reconstituting legitimate government, or they can exacerbate them by further polarizing highly conflictual societies. This timely volume examines the relationship between elections, especially electoral systems, and conflict management in Africa, while also serving as an important reference for other regions. The book brings together for the first time the latest thinking on the many different roles elections can play in democratization and conflict management.

About the Editors

Timothy D. Sisk, a program officer with the Grant Program at the Institute, specializes in contemporary ethnic conflicts and the means for their management or resolution, with primary interests in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. He has organized a number of Institute events and authored reports on South Africa, Kashmir, and political Islam. The author of Democratization in South Africa: The Elusive Social Contract (Princeton University Press, 1995) and Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts (USIP Press and Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1996), Sisk has also written a number of articles for scholarly journals on South Africa, ethnic conflict, and democracy. In 1991, he was a Fulbright scholar in South Africa, where he conducted field research on the negotiated transition from apartheid to majority rule. For the 1995 fall semester, he was a visiting fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo to conduct a comparative study of contemporary peace processes. Sisk holds a Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University.
Andrew Reynolds is assistant professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and was UN adviser to the Interim National Election Commission of Sierra Leone.





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