Toward Electoral Security: Experiences from KwaZulu-Natal

Kristine Höglund, Anna K. Jarstad


There is a growing recognition of the dangers of electoral violence. Yet, the theoretical foundation for systematic research and for adequate policy is still underdeveloped. This article aims to develop the theoretical understandings of strategies to manage and prevent electoral violence. This is accomplished by integrating research conducted within the two academic discourses on democratization and conflict management and also by drawing on the experiences from the conflict-ridden province KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The five strategies identified are monitoring, mediation, legal measures, law enforcement and self-regulating practices. In the article, the functions and mechanisms of the strategies are discussed. In addition, we analyse the limitations and usefulness of each of the strategies in turn and also provide suggestions on how to improve electoral security.

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