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The Electoral Commitment Problem: A quantitative assessment of the impact of constitutional features on post-election conflict
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Conflict immediately following elections is a phenomenon rarely studies in its own light. The timing, motivation, and dynamics of post-election conflict is often verydifferent to that in other periods of the electoral cycle. This study seeks to identifyhow certain constitutional features influence the likelihood of post-electionconflict. Based on an adaptation of the ‘credible commitment problem’, I argue thatby reducing the stakes of elections through careful constitutional design, politicalactors can overcome the deep mistrust and uncertainty associated with electoralperiods. The threat of post-election conflict can therefore be mitigated bytempering the rewards for ‘winners’, and consequently softening the blow for‘losers’. By creating a global post-election conflict dataset of national electionsbetween 1989-2012, a series of binary logistic regressions show that proportionalelectoral systems decrease the likelihood of post-election riots and protests, whilstgreater decentralisation and the direct-election of a head of state increase thelikelihood of post-election violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 71 p.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294507OAI: diva2:930120
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved

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