This lecture shifts focus away from the violent strategies to manipulate the electoral result and instead conceives of violence during electoral boycotts as part of a bargaining process between political actors concerning electoral rules and political resources.
Based on this theoretical framework, van Baalen will examine three different logics of electoral violence during boycotts: violence to demobilize voters, violence to quell dissent, and violence to outbid local competitors for political resources.
He explores these propositions through a statistical analysis of geo-referenced event data on electoral violence during the 2020 boycott of the Ivorian presidential election, and complement the analysis with insights from interviews. The study contributes new knowledge on the logic of electoral violence during opposition boycotts and sheds new light on patterns of repression against nonviolent campaigns against electoral authoritarianism.
About Sebastian van Baalen
Sebastian van Baalen is an Associate Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University in Sweden. His research focuses on the dynamics of violence and governance in civil war, electoral violence, and postwar violence in sub-Saharan Africa, notably Côte d’Ivoire. He received his PhD in 2021 for his dissertation “Guns and Governance: Local Elites and Rebel Governance in Côte d’Ivoire”. His research has been published in journals such as American Political Science Review, Journal of Peace Research, International Studies Review, and European Journal of International Relations.
This lecture is organized by the Elections, Violence, and Parties project: new theory, data, and evidence on the nature, organization, and consequences of electoral violence. The project is part of the AISSR PETGOV program group.