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Triggers and Characteristics of the 2007 Kenyan Electoral Violence


  • Stefan Dercon
  • Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero


Following the 2007 disputed Kenyan Presidential election unprecedented levels of violence erupted across the country adding to the history of troubled elections in Africa. This paper offers quantitative and qualitative evidence on the incidence, impacts and issues that triggered electoral violence. Using two surveys conducted before and after the election we find that one out of three Kenyans were affected by the violence regardless of their ethnicity and wealth. The chances of being a victim of violence were higher in areas with land conflicts and where politically-connected gangs operated. Violence, which was mainly triggered by the perception that the election had been rigged, reduced trust and social capital among communities making violence more likely to reoccur.

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  • Stefan Dercon & Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2010. "Triggers and Characteristics of the 2007 Kenyan Electoral Violence," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-12

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    Cited by:

    1. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust, and Conflict," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1114-1147.
    2. Stefano Costalli & Luigi Moretti & Costantino Pischedda, 2017. "The economic costs of civil war," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 54(1), pages 80-98, January.
    3. Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2012. "An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Thomas Markussen & Kitavi Mbuvi, 2011. "When Does Ethnic Diversity Lead to Violence? Evidence from the 2007 Elections in Kenya," Discussion Papers 11-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2017. "The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2018-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    6. Werner, Katharina, 2016. "Whom do people trust after a violent conflict? Experimental evidence from Maluku, Indonesia," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-73-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    7. Dupas, Pascaline & Robinson, Jonathan, 2012. "The (hidden) costs of political instability: Evidence from Kenya's 2007 election crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 314-329.

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    Voting; Electoral Violence; Rule of Law; Institutions; Africa; Kenya;

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