chapter  6
13 Pages

Electoral violence

Patterns and trends 1
BySarah Birch, David Muchlinski

In the aftermath of the Kenyan elections of 2007, an estimated 1,500 people died and 700,000 were displaced. This horrific episode spurred interest among academics and practitioners alike in ascertaining how conflict could be prevented from affecting the electoral process. As the range of states that hold competitive elections has increased over the past several decades, scholars have begun to probe the diverse challenges to electoral integrity. The Dataset of Countries at Risk of Election Violence is based on event data, and as such it provides counts of events of specific types for every election. The existing literature on electoral violence indicates that force is used by a variety of actors in the electoral context, and that the identity of perpetrators varies from state to state and election to election. The use of violence to disrupt and distort electoral processes has long been a concern of those studying democratic processes.