Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781786992284 Published April 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786992291 Published April 2018 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Violence in African Elections

Between Democracy and Big Man Politics

Edited by Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs and Jesper Bjarnesen

Violence in African Elections

Edited by Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs and Jesper Bjarnesen

Distributed for Zed Books

320 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781786992284 Published April 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786992291 Published April 2018 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The holding of multiparty elections has become the bellwether by which all democracies are judged, and the spread of such systems across Africa has been widely hailed as a sign of the continent’s progress towards stability and prosperity. But such elections bring their own challenges, particularly the often intense internecine violence that can follow disputed results. While the consequences of such violence can be profound, undermining the legitimacy of the democratic process and in some cases plunging countries into civil war or renewed dictatorship, little is known about the causes of this violence. By mapping, analyzing, and comparing instances of election violence in different localities across Africa, this collection of detailed case studies sheds light on the underlying dynamics and sub-national causes behind electoral conflicts. It reveals them to be the result of a complex interplay between democratization and the older, patronage-based system of “Big Man” politics and offers practical suggestions for preventing such violence through improved electoral monitoring, voter education, and international assistance.

Appealing to policy makers and scholars across the social sciences and humanities interested in democratization, peace-keeping, and peace studies, Violence in African Elections provides important insights into why some communities prove more prone to electoral violence than others, and what can be done to help more democracies succeed.
Contents
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: The everyday politics of electoral violence in Africa
Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs
 
1 Ethnic politics and elite competition: the roots of electoral violence in Kenya
Hanne Fjelde and Kristine Höglund
 
2 Wielding the stick again: the rise and fall and rise of state violence during presidential elections in Uganda
Anders Sjögren
 
3 Land conflict and electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire: a micro-level analysis
Matthew I. Mitchell
 
4 The geography of violence in Burundi’s 2015 elections
Willy Nindorera and Jesper Bjarnesen
 
5 Competition, uncertainty and violence in Sierra Leone’s swing district
Ibrahim Bangura and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs
 
6 Ex-militants and electoral violence in Nigeria’s Niger Delta
Tarila Marclint Ebiede
 
7 The winner takes it all: post-war rebel networks, Big Man politics, and the threat of violence in the 2011 Liberian elections
Mariam Bjarnesen
 
8 Parasitic politics: violence, deception and change in Kenya’s electoral politics
Jacob Rasmussen
 
9 Eclectic ties and election touts: Chipangano’s cyclic governance agenda in Mbare, Zimbabwe
 
10 Patronage politics and electoral violence in Lagos, Nigeria: understanding the micro-level dynamics
Daniel E. Agbiboa
 
11 ‘Once they all pick their guns you can have your way’ campaigning and talking about violence in northern Ghana
Afra Schmitz
 
Conclusion: Beyond democracy and Big Man politics
Jesper Bjarnesen and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs
 
About the contributors
Index
 
Review Quotes
Scott Straus, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“An excellent contribution to the growing literature on electoral violence. This is a major advance for a literature that tends to privilege national elite strategies. In short, there is much to learn in these pages.”
Andreas Mehler, GIGA Institute of African Affairs, Hamburg University
“Offers valuable insights into under-explored issues in electoral violence, in particular the ‘everyday’ aspects of intimidation, and the interaction between ‘foot-soldiers’ and ‘big men.’“
Bruce Baker, Coventry University
“Sounds a warning to tread carefully when interfering with the politics of other states.”
Anders Themnér, Uppsala University
“Finally, a book that seriously investigates and bridges the macro and micro dynamics of electoral violence in Africa.”
Anna Jarstad, Umeå University
“Deepens our insights into the causes of electoral violence and explains the intricate relationship between democratization, patronage, and violence. It also provides directions for policy reforms to address electoral violence.”
Mats Utas, coeditor of Private Security in Africa
“This book is the first comprehensive study of its kind, and should be required reading not only for political scientists and other social science scholars, but also people in the policy sphere.”
Marie-Joëlle Zahar, Université de Montréal
“This collection broadens our understanding of electoral violence and opens up multiple new lines of research inquiry into the subject matter. A timely and welcome contribution.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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