An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence

Abstract

This article investigates whether vote-buying and the instigation of violence in the disputed 2007 Kenyan elections were strategically motivated, and whether those affected by electoral violence changed their views towards ethno-politics and the use of violence. To answer these questions, a panel survey conducted before and after the elections is combined with external indicators of electoral violence. We find that political parties targeted vote-buying towards specific groups to weaken the support of their political rivals and to mobilize their own supporters. Furthermore, parties instigated violence strategically in areas where they were less likely to win. Although the victims of violence would prefer that parties are no longer allowed to organize in ethnic or religious lines, they are more likely to identify in ethnic terms, support the use of violence and avoid relying on the police to resolve disputes. The overall findings suggest an increased risk of electoral-violence reoccurring.

Citation

Gutiérrez-Romero, R. An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence. CSAE Working Paper WPS/2012/6, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2012) 31 pp.

An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence

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