Department of Political Science

Merete Bech Seeberg

Candidate nomination, intra-party democracy, and election violence in Africa

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This article introduces a special issue on candidate nomination, intra-party democracy, and election violence in Africa. Although a burgeoning literature on African democratization has focused on the topic of electoral violence, little attention has been given to violence during party nominations. When local-level or national-level competition between parties is low, as in much of Africa, electoral politics become a matter of intra-party rather than inter-party competition. Nominations are a part of the electoral process often left to the discretion of poorly institutionalized parties, free of the involvement of electoral management bodies and external monitors, and violence often results. Rather than developing an elaborate theoretical framework on the causes of nomination violence, our ambition in this introduction is to introduce the concept of nomination violence and situate it in the literatures on intra-party democracy and election violence. We also offer new descriptive data on nomination rules and nomination violence across parties on the African continent. The data show that nomination violence is a prevalent problem across both democracies and electoral autocracies. However, the level of nomination violence varies significantly between parties in the same party system and we recommend further research into the effect of parties’ selection procedures on nomination violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-977
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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