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Working Paper 173 - Production and Conflict in Risky Elections


Globally, transmission to a democratic political system, while widespread, is best captured by three events since the 1980s. These are the fall of communism in late 1980s and subsequent democratic election of new leaders that followed; the various elections in Sub-Saharan Africa that have established democracy in some countries but have caused reversals in others; and indeed the post 2011 fall or transformation of autocracies in North Africa and Middle East and the unsteady transition to democracy, post the various revolutions in 2011 and 2012. However, Africa stands out as one region that has been slowest in establishing democratic institutions and has seen some notable reversals of democratic processes. Election outcomes in most African countries have been challenged as not having been free and fair. Indeed some of the elections have been violent and also followed by more violence once the outcome is known.

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