Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2197
A small, but rapidly growing research agenda studies electoral violence as a distinct form of conflict. Researchers have begun to explore of the origins of violent electoral conflict. We know that pre-electoral violence is more likely when elections are tightly contested, particularly when constraints on the executive are absent and when the incumbent runs for office again. Moreover, electoral violence is more likely under majoritarian electoral institutions, especially when important stakeholders are excluded from the electoral process. Research on post-electoral violence suggests that elections are vulnerable to violent protest in the post-electoral phase when there was substantial fraud in the election. The effects of international election monitoring are complex. The presence of international observers tends to reduce violence on election day but increases the risk of violence in the run-up to elections. Observers can further decrease, but also increase the risk of violence after elections, depending on the level of fraud and on whether the international community endorses or condemns the election. In addition, when election monitoring constrains election fraud, governments tend to engage in fiscal manipulation to influence elections in their favor, with negative consequences for economic development in the long run. While the presence of international observers in elections and the consequences thereof have attracted a substantive amount of scholarly attention, we do not know much on how other measures of electoral violence prevention affect conflict risks. The few existing studies in this field suggest that measures intended to professionalize electoral management bodies lower violence applied by non-state actors, whereas attitude-transforming strategies reduce the risk of violence committed by state actors and their allies. Yet while scholars have begun to explore patterns of electoral violence, there is still little systematic evidence about which institutions and measures of international election assistance can effectively prevent the escalation of electoral violence. In addition, we know little about why international agencies choose among the different preventive tools and how rapid regime change influences this choice. The proposed panel addresses this research gap. It brings together contributors from conflict research as well as those evaluating international election assistance. The panelists explore unexamined topics in this emerging research field and advance conceptual and empirical knowledge on how domestic policies (mandatory voting) and international strategies (sanctions and peacekeeping) affect election-related conflicts.