- All quiet on election day? International election observation and incentives for pre-election violence in African elections
- Electoral Studies
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article argues that the increasing international interest in elections as exemplified by the rise of international election monitoring induces temporal shifts in the use of violent intimidation by political actors. The presence of international electoral missions lowers the potential for election-day violence relative to the pre-election period because domestic actors likely refrain from intimidating opposition candidates or voters before the eyes of international observers, but creates incentives for political actors to engage in violent manipulation in parts of the electoral process receiving considerably less international attention, such as the pre-election period. The article expects that international election observation increases the incidence of violent manipulation during electoral campaigns. An empirical analysis of election-related violence for African elections in the 1990-2009 period shows that the presence of election observers increases the incidence of pre-election violence, but has no effect on election-day violence.
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