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Diplomatic Interventions and Mitigating Electoral Violence: The Case for Aligning Diplomacy with Development

July 14, 2021

Electoral violence is a recurring challenge in countries around the globe. It can tarnish the integrity of elections and imperil US political, diplomatic, and economic interests. Incumbents who are uncertain about their prospects for victory and who are not bound by institutional constraints often resort to such violence. To help policymakers address this pervasive threat of electoral violence, the International Republican Institute (IRI) drafted the following evidence briefer.

This brief outlines the role of diplomacy in mitigating electoral violence. It emphasizes the importance of long-term diplomatic engagement; highlights the difference between political efforts and the more technical, capacity-focused efforts undertaken by development actors; and concludes with a discussion of the types of diplomatic interventions that appear effective in mitigating electoral violence.