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Post-Conflict Elections: Harm or Help?

Friday, February 10, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Aila Matanock
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science
Stanford University

Hosted by
Milan Vaishnav
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Center for Global Development

Post-conflict elections are criticized as being useless at best and dangerous at worst. In her new paper, Bullets for Ballots: Examining the Effect of Electoral Participation on Conflict Recurrence, Matanock argues that the inclusion of electoral participation for armed non-state groups in a peace agreement can act as a commitment device and increase combatants' confidence that the terms of a settlement will be respected. Particularly since the end of the Cold War, elections have been valuable in certain peace agreements as a means of engaging third parties in the form of international actors to monitor implementation and punish any violations of the deal. New and extensive cross-national data on electoral participation by armed non-state groups, and in-depth comparative case studies, support this theory. Matanock will present the findings of her research, which suggest that negotiated settlements with provisions for electoral participation result in a longer duration of peace between the signatories.

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Friday, February 10, 2012