Making Elections Work: Peace Agreements and Post-conflict Elections

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Holding elections is a common prescription for countries that are recovering from civil war. In fact, the peace agreements that sometimes accompany or precipitate the end of conflict often prescribe the holding of elections. We find that more than 20% of all peace agreement documents, from ceasefires and procedural documents to comprehensive peace settlements, include at least some mention of elections. Is the attention given to elections in peace negotiations worthwhile? How useful and effective are elections in transposing violence of conflict into orderly political competition? Further, are elections in post-conflict countries more peaceful and effective in maintaining peace when they are part of a peace settlement? By relying on peace agreements data collected as part of the Political Settlements Research Programme’s Peace Agreements Database and Access Tool (, I explore the connection between existence of peace agreements tackling elections and orderliness of post-conflict elections, and the potential of both electoral provisions in peace agreements and characteristics of held elections to assist in preventing conflict recurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventPolitical Studies Association Meeting - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Mar 2018 → …


ConferencePolitical Studies Association Meeting
Abbreviated titlePSA
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period26/03/18 → …


  • peace agreements
  • elections
  • electoral commission
  • quantitative analysis

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