Electoral Institutions and Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Journal article

Fjelde, Hanne & Kristine Höglund (2016) Electoral Institutions and Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, British Journal of Political Science 46 (2): 297–320.

Read the article here (Open Access)

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.

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