The Timing of Violence over the Election Cycle

  • Datum: –16.30
  • Plats: Torgrummet, Gamla torget 2, Uppsala
  • Föreläsare: Richard Frank, Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University
  • Arrangör: The Department of Government and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research with support from Uppsala Forum, all at Uppsala University
  • Kontaktperson: Elin Bjarnegård
  • Föreläsning

In this lecture, Dr Richard Frank from the Australian National University will describe how four election-cycle characteristics (campaign length, multiple election rounds, bans, and boycotts) can precipitate violence, while also analyzing newly gathered electoral cycle data on these four election characteristics.

Why do some elections precipitate violence while others do not? Some argue that violence results from either an incumbent government repressing challengers before election day or an opposition group protesting a process lacking integrity. Others suggest structural factors—including political institutions and socio-economic considerations—are crucial. Most recent research, however, focuses on the overall probability of violence occurring during the election cycle not when in the electoral process it is most likely to occur and what events precipitate such violence.

In this lecture, Dr Frank will begin to fill the above-mentioned gap by describing how four election-cycle characteristics (campaign length, multiple election rounds, bans, and boycotts) can precipitate violence, while also analyzing newly gathered electoral cycle data on these four election characteristics. These data include a random selection of 567 elections in 67 countries from 1991 to 2016. His findings contribute to the literature’s understanding of the temporal dynamics of electoral violence and provide more fine-grained policy implications for recognizing (and potentially reducing) the varying risk of violence over the electoral cycle.

Richard Frank is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. His research focuses on the strategic use of political violence surrounding elections and during civil conflict. He also studies the networks of transnational human trafficking and the effects of countries’ trafficking policies on these networks. His work has appeared in the Journal of Peace Research, Electoral Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Studies, and elsewhere. He has also edited two books on electoral integrity and contentious elections with Oxford University Press and Routledge.