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Rushing to the Polls: The Causes of Premature Postconflict Elections


  • Dawn Brancati

    (Department of Political Science, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO, USA,

  • Jack L. Snyder

    (Department of Political Science and Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA)


In the post—cold war period, civil wars are increasingly likely to end with peace settlements brokered by international actors who press for early elections. However, elections held soon after wars end, when political institutions remain weak, are associated with an increased likelihood of a return to violence. International actors have a double-edged influence over election timing and the risk of war, often promoting precarious military stalemates and early elections but sometimes also working to prevent a return to war through peacekeeping, institution building, and powersharing. In this article, we develop and test quantitatively a model of the causes of early elections as a building block in evaluating the larger effect of election timing on the return to war.

Suggested Citation

  • Dawn Brancati & Jack L. Snyder, 2011. "Rushing to the Polls: The Causes of Premature Postconflict Elections," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 469-492, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:55:y:2011:i:3:p:469-492

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Grandi, Francesca, 2013. "New incentives and old organizations: The production of violence after war," NEPS Working Papers 2/2013, Network of European Peace Scientists.
    2. Armey, Laura E. & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Democratization and civil war," MPRA Paper 42460, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Grandi Francesca, 2013. "New Incentives and Old Organizations: The Production of Violence After War," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 309-319, December.

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    civil war; elections; and peacekeeping;


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