Understanding Election-Related Violence in Africa: Patterns, Causes, Consequences and a Framework for Preventive Action

From Algeria to South Africa, passing through Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, election-related violence
has imposed itself as a full component of Africa’s political landscape in the
past two decades. The prevalence of such violence in Africa has led to the
production of abundant literature dedicated to the matter. This research seeks
to contribute to the existing academic literature by focusing specifically on
the patterns, causes and consequences of election-related violence on the
continent. The central argument of the article is that, although the patterns,
causes and consequences of election-related violence do not necessarily follow
the same trends in different African countries (due to, among other factors,
inter-country historical, socio-economic and political differences), there are
commonalities in the types, causes and consequences of such violence on the
continent. While a thorough understanding of the patterns and causes of
election-related violence in Africa constitutes an important point of departure
in addressing the problem, an effective prevention strategy should embrace
a multi-level approach targeting all significant stakeholders in any electoral
process, including the political leadership, the electoral management body,
civil society organisations, the general public and external partners.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: 50-50, ANC, Female representation, SADC countries, Western Cape, women in politics, Zebra list