Political transitions have often served as triggers of violence. This initiative aims to increase the capacity of key stakeholders to identify these triggers during political transitions, to build positive relationships among civil society, policymakers, and regional and international organizations, and to contribute to the academic and policy literature on peaceful political transitions in Africa.

 

Political transitions – ranging from elections to peace agreements after civil war – have often served as triggers of violence. A significant body of research shows that approximately half of all peace agreements unravel after five years, at times plunging a country into more intense violence than before. Elections, a hallmark of democracy and in many cases the culmination of a peace agreement, have been shown to be violent about 25 percent of the time. Moreover, research shows that electoral violence tends to persist as underlying causes remain unresolved; persistent electoral violence arguably reduces the consolidation of democratic norms and the prospects for long-term for durable peace and stability. Managing the conflict that accompanies political transitions is a critical factor in building strong governing institutions and creating the mechanisms for durable peace.

Goals

  • To increase the capacity of key stakeholders to identify potential triggers of violence during political transitions.
  • To increase the capacity of key stakeholders to identify opportunities for reducing tension.
  • To build positive relationships between civil society, policymakers, and regional and international organizations.
  • To contribute to the academic and policy literature on peaceful political transitions.

This initiative includes work in several African countries:

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