Elections and Social Conflict in Africa, 1990-2009

2012 Annual Convention of The International Studies Association, April 1-4, 2012, San Diego, CA

36 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012

See all articles by Christopher Linebarger

Christopher Linebarger

University of North Texas

Idean Salehyan

University of North Texas; International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO); University of Texas at Austin - Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law; Southern Methodist University (SMU) - John G. Tower Center for Political Studies

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Proponents of democratization often claim that liberal institutions have a palliative effect on the level of conflict within societies. Critics, however, suggest that the instruments of democracy, especially elections, can spark political violence, particularly in weakly institutionalized settings. Using the newly available Social Conflict in Africa Dataset (SCAD), we examine the relationship between executive elections and social conflict in Africa for the period 1990-2010, using both country-months and election periods as units of analysis. We also assess conflict’s temporal relationship to election rounds, noting the escalation of violent conflict prior to an election, as well as its recession in post-election periods. These relationships are tested across democratic, autocratic, and semi-authoritarian countries. Finally, we also examine these dynamics in post-civil war environments. The empirical relationships explored by this paper will provide important insights for policy-makers and several academic literatures, including those of conflict, post-conflict peace, and democratization.

Suggested Citation

Linebarger, Christopher and Salehyan, Idean, Elections and Social Conflict in Africa, 1990-2009 (2012). 2012 Annual Convention of The International Studies Association, April 1-4, 2012, San Diego, CA, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182694

Christopher Linebarger

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States

Idean Salehyan (Contact Author)

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

University of Texas at Austin - Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law ( email )

2315 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - John G. Tower Center for Political Studies ( email )

PO Box 750117
Dallas, TX 75275-0117
United States

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