election violence

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Elections are supposed to function as a peaceful means for making decisions and settling political differences. But they do not always function in this way: sometimes, they trigger political violence. Especially ethnically divided societies are often thought to be prone to such dynamics. This paper presents a comparative analysis of the 2007 Kenyan elections and the 2006 and 2011 elections in Zambia. Working with these cases, it asks, first, whether the presence of ethnic diversity must lead to violence around election time. In a second step, the paper then refines this question to ask under what conditions ethnic diversity tends to lead to election violence, considering factors such as the electoral system, the numerical balance of ethnic groups, the closeness of elections, economic, social, and historical background conditions, and elite strategies, as well as how these factors might interact with one another
To start with, we cannot proceed by talking about how ethnic diversity led to violence around election time and under what conditions did election violence emerge before actually defining ethnicity, ethnic diversity and its role in Africa and especially in both Kenya and Zambia.

Ethnicity is when a group of people share the same background, race, culture, norms or values. They live together in closed communities and seek to conserve and protect their cultural and political identities. “Ethnic identity categories, I propose, are a subset of identity categories in which eligibility for membership is determined by descent-based attributes”(Chandra Kanchan;2006;4). Knowing that ethnic diversity means having various ethnicities within the same territory, we have to examine if it preserves the oneness of ...

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...ory 111 (745): 181-186
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