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Dr Goldsmith received a Medium Grant from the Electoral Integrity Project

6 March, 2013

Benjamin Goldsmith has received a Medium Grant from the Electoral Integrity Project to investigate “Authoritarian Elections, Electoral Integrity, and Political Violence”

This research will investigate the connection between electoral integrity and violence associated with elections in non-democratic countries. The core motivating question is: under what conditions are elections in undemocratic polities more likely to spark violence? The logical pivot of the competing expectations is that, while unfree and manipulated elections might help avoid violence because they help incumbents maintain power, they might also lead to violence because they disenfranchise opposition groups and a large portion of the electorate. Conversely, free and fair elections threaten incumbents, which might lead to their use of violence against the opposition, while they advantage the opposition and the electorate by providing the possibility of genuine access to power, thus reducing their temptation to use violence. It will explore these competing expectations in two particular scenarios: regime liberalization and post-conflict normalization.