Logo: to the web site of Uppsala University

uu.sePublications from Uppsala University
Change search
ExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA

Project

Project type/Form of grant
Project grant
Title [sv]
Att välja våld? Orsakerna till valrelaterat våld i Afrika
Title [en]
Electing Violence? The Causes of Electoral Violence in Africa
Abstract [en]
This project studies the circumstances under which electoral contestation leads to violence. The project advances the knowledge on electoral violence in two significant ways. First, it uses new conflict event data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program to conduct the first comprehensive analysis of the frequency and determinants of political violence in association with elections in Africa in the 1989 to 2008 period. Second, it will carry out a qualitative analysis of African countries, including Kenya and South Africa.

To understand electoral violence, the project will develop theories related to:

-the functioning of informal institutions for creating incentives for violent electoral contest (especially the implication of politics ordered by hierarchical patron-client relationship)
-weak formal institutions, which encourages electoral violence through the manipulation of democratic institutions.

The relevance of the research pertains both to the advancement of knowledge on the democracy-violence nexus and to policy for how to address the causes of electoral violence. Electoral violence has a number of negative influences on individuals and on societies. It threatens to undermine the democratic system by defying the very notion of democratic norms based on tolerance and non-violence. It is associated with corruption and underdevelopment. In some countries, election-related violence has served as a training ground for civil war. In essence, electoral violence hampers individual safety and wealth.

Related publications:

-Höglund, Kristine, and Anna K. Jarstad, 2010. ‘Strategies to Prevent and Manage Electoral Violence: Considerations for Policy.’ Policy and Practice Brief, ACCORD, no. 1. Available online www.accord.org.za.
-Höglund, Kristine, 2009. ‘Electoral Violence: Causes, Concepts and Consequences’. Terrorism and Political Violence 21 (3): 412-427.
-Höglund, Kristine, and Anton Piyarathne. 2009. ‘Paying the Price of Patronage: Electoral Violence in Sri Lanka’. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 47 (3): 287-307.
-Höglund, Kristine, 2009. ‘Elections and Violence in Sri Lanka: Understanding Variation across Three Parliamentary Elections,’ in Swain, Ashok, Rames Amer, and Joakim Öjendahl, eds., The Democratization Project: Opportunities and Challenges, London: Anthem Press
-Höglund, Kristine, 2008. ‘Violence in War-to-Democracy Transitions’, in Anna Jarstad & Timothy D. Sisk, eds., War-to-Democracy Transitions: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
-Fjelde, Hanne. “Patronage politics and Non-state Conflict in Africa: A Sub-national Study of Nigeria”. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.
Publications (10 of 10) Show all publications
Brosché, J. & Höglund, K. (2016). Crisis of governance in South Sudan: electoral politics and violence in the world's newest nation. Journal of Modern African Studies, 54(1), 67-90
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crisis of governance in South Sudan: electoral politics and violence in the world's newest nation
2016 (English)In: Journal of Modern African Studies, ISSN 0022-278X, E-ISSN 1469-7777, Vol. 54, no 1, p. 67-90Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since mid-December 2013, thousands of people have been killed in armed conflict in South Sudan. The fighting is entrenched in a power struggle between the main political contenders ahead of elections which were scheduled for 2015. This article examines the violence in South Sudan since the North-South war ended with a focus on the consequences of the introduction of electoral politics. Our research contributes to the literature on state-building and peace-building in war-torn societies, by exploring how the extreme levels of violence are linked to three groups of factors. First, the stakes involved in being part of the government are extremely high, since it is the only way to secure political and economic influence. Second, the actors involved in political life are dominated by individuals who held positions within the rebel groups, which increases the risk of political differences turning violent. Third, the institutions important for a legitimate electoral process, and which work to prevent violence, are weak or non-existent.

Keywords
South Sudan, elections, violence, conflict
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276272 (URN)10.1017/S0022278X15000828 (DOI)000370862400003 ()
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2020-06-26Bibliographically approved
Fjelde, H. & Höglund, K. (2016). Electoral Institutions and Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. British Journal of Political Science, 46(2), 297-320
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Electoral Institutions and Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa
2016 (English)In: British Journal of Political Science, ISSN 0007-1234, E-ISSN 1469-2112, Vol. 46, no 2, p. 297-320Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Political violence remains a pervasive feature of electoral dynamics in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, even where multiparty elections have become the dominant mode of regulating access to political power. With cross-national data on electoral violence in Sub-Saharan African elections between 1990 and 2010, this article develops and tests a theory that links the use of violent electoral tactics to the high stakes put in place by majoritarian electoral institutions. It is found that electoral violence is more likely in countries that employ majoritarian voting rules and elect fewer legislators from each district. Majoritarian institutions are, as predicted by theory, particularly likely to provoke violence where large ethno-political groups are excluded from power and significant economic inequalities exist.

Keywords
violence, elections, Africa
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281929 (URN)10.1017/S0007123414000179 (DOI)000373392700004 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421/2010/1515
Available from: 2016-03-31 Created: 2016-03-31 Last updated: 2020-06-26Bibliographically approved
Fjelde, H. & Höglund, K. (2016). Electoral Violence: The Emergence of a Research Field. APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter, 14(2)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Electoral Violence: The Emergence of a Research Field
2016 (English)In: APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter, Vol. 14, no 2Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Keywords
elections, violence, conflict, democratization, institutions
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303982 (URN)
Available from: 2016-09-28 Created: 2016-09-28 Last updated: 2022-01-29
Fjelde, H. & Höglund, K. (2016). Here's One Way to Prevent Electoral Violence. Monkey Cage; The Washington Post
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Here's One Way to Prevent Electoral Violence
2016 (English)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, pages
Monkey Cage; The Washington Post, 2016
Keywords
elections, violence, Africa, electoral institutions
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332574 (URN)
Available from: 2017-10-30 Created: 2017-10-30 Last updated: 2020-06-26
Fjelde, H. (2016). När val leder till konflikt. In: Jenny Björkman & Arne Jarrick (Ed.), Krig Fred: RJ:s årsbok 2016/2017 (pp. 59-66). Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam Förlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>När val leder till konflikt
2016 (Swedish)In: Krig Fred: RJ:s årsbok 2016/2017 / [ed] Jenny Björkman & Arne Jarrick, Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam Förlag, 2016, p. 59-66Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam Förlag, 2016
Keywords
peace, conflict, violence, elections, war, democratisation
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303979 (URN)978-91-7061-206-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-09-28 Created: 2016-09-28 Last updated: 2020-06-26
Fjelde, H. & Höglund, K. (2016). Våld vid valurnorna - vad beror det på?. Mänsklig säkerhet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Våld vid valurnorna - vad beror det på?
2016 (Swedish)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, pages
Mänsklig säkerhet, 2016
Keywords
val, våld, Afrika, valsystem
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332577 (URN)
Available from: 2017-10-30 Created: 2017-10-30 Last updated: 2022-01-29
Jarstad, A. K. & Höglund, K. (2015). Local violence and politics in KwaZulu-Natal: perceptions of agency in a post-conflict society. Third World Quarterly, 36(5), 967-984
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local violence and politics in KwaZulu-Natal: perceptions of agency in a post-conflict society
2015 (English)In: Third World Quarterly, ISSN 0143-6597, E-ISSN 1360-2241, Vol. 36, no 5, p. 967-984Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the narratives of survivors of violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and addresses the relationship between local violence, politics and agency in a post-conflict setting. In particular, the study advances an understanding of how local political violence serves to increase or decrease agency. In line with previous research on emotions and agency, our study suggests that fear and anxiety encourage risk avoidance and have a pacifying effect on survivors of violence. It also indicates that anger and enthusiasm are emotions experienced by those who have a strong sense of agency and have become politically mobilised after violence. The study contributes to the debate on local capacity for peacebuilding and democracy by showing how local agency is affected by violence and how survivors of violence can become agents of change through politics.

Keywords
agency, local violence, peacebuilding, South Africa, post-conflict societies
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257030 (URN)10.1080/01436597.2015.1030385 (DOI)000355794100010 ()
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilRiksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2020-06-26Bibliographically approved
Höglund, K. & Fjelde, H. (2013). Fredslobotomi eller hållbar demokrati?: Kenyas framtid osäker trots fredliga val. Internationella Studier (2), 10-12
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fredslobotomi eller hållbar demokrati?: Kenyas framtid osäker trots fredliga val
2013 (Swedish)In: Internationella Studier, ISSN 0020-952X, no 2, p. 10-12Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Utrikespolitiska Institutet, 2013
Keywords
Kenya, fred, konflikt, val
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201663 (URN)
Available from: 2013-06-13 Created: 2013-06-13 Last updated: 2020-06-26
Opitz, C., Fjelde, H. & Höglund, K. (2013). Including Peace: The Influence of Electoral Management Bodies on Electoral Violence. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 7(4), 713-731
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Including Peace: The Influence of Electoral Management Bodies on Electoral Violence
2013 (English)In: Journal of Eastern African Studies, ISSN 1753-1055, E-ISSN 1753-1063, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 713-731Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What accounts for the difference between peaceful and violent elections in semi-authoritarian countries? This article analyses the influence of electoral management bodies (EMBs) on the likelihood of widespread violence triggered by opposition protest during election times. It is argued that by establishing inclusive and collaborative relationships through which political actors can jointly negotiate important electoral issues, EMBs influence the incentive structure of the major stakeholders in favour of non-violent strategies. The relationship is explored by comparing elections in Malawi (2004), Ethiopia (2005) and Zanzibar (2005). The analysis supports the idea that inclusive EMBs, rather than legal independence, are critical to guarantee the influence of the opposition in order to address both their interests and their mistrust of electoral politics.

Keywords
elections, violence, Africa, electoral manangement bodies
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-212885 (URN)10.1080/17531055.2013.841024 (DOI)000327513100008 ()
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2020-06-26Bibliographically approved
Höglund, K. (2011). Priset för demokrati får inte bli våldsamma val. Tvärsnitt: Humanistisk och samhällsvetenskaplig forskning (3-4), 32-35
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Priset för demokrati får inte bli våldsamma val
2011 (Swedish)In: Tvärsnitt: Humanistisk och samhällsvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-7997, no 3-4, p. 32-35Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet, 2011
Keywords
elections, conflict, violence, democracy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162818 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-12-05 Created: 2011-12-05 Last updated: 2020-06-26
Principal InvestigatorHöglund, Kristine
Co-InvestigatorFjelde, Hanne
Coordinating organisation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research
Funder
Period
2011-01-01 - 2016-12-31
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:2007Project, id: 2010-01515

Search in DiVA

Political Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar