Many countries emerging from conflict across the developing world face a daunting challenge. They are trying to build a functioning and effective state; develop more open, inclusive, and representative political orders; and revitalise the link between state and society. In countries embarking on these processes, elections have featured prominently as an essential – and often early – step in building legitimacy and enable citizens to take part in shaping a common future.
Yet elections can also be destabilising and act as detonators of (further) violence and conflict if conditions are not right. This event draws on experience from a variety of post-conflict countries, including Cambodia, East Timor, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone.
- What are the challenges and opportunities embedded in elections in post-conflict settings, and how can dilemmas and trade-offs be managed?
- Can elections help foster legitimacy of emerging political orders in post-conflict settings, and if so, how?
- What can be learned from young democracies emerging from such processes, and what are the implications for more effective support to post-conflict states seeking to more legitimacy and effectiveness?
For more information about ODI's work on elections, visit our page for the elections initiative.