Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Postconflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance

Krishna Kumar, editor
Postconflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance
ISBN: 978-1-55587-778-1
1998/270 pages/LC: 98-9423

"A valuable resource that highlights the many dilemmas faced by scholars, agency officials, and policymakers seeking to assist countries realise and sustain peace."—Michi Ebata, Millennium

"This collection ... will be extremely useful, not just to policy-oriented and practitioner institutions but to all students of democratization."—Peter Burnell, Democratization

"This unique and valuable collection contributes to our understanding of the functions and impact of elections on transitional polities and the broader process of rebuilding political systems in war-torn societies. Kumar’s anthology should be required reading for both academics and practitioners concerned with what is intended to be the early stage of conflict resolution, but which may be neither."—Joel D. Barkan

"Krishna Kumar has assembled a team of distinguished specialists to produce this valuable study of both elections and elections assistance in postconflict societies. Ranging expertly among cases as topical and diverse as Cambodia, Nicaragua, and Haiti, the book provides answers to fundamental questions about the utility of postconflict elections, the preconditions for success, and the promise and pitfalls of international assistance."—Thomas Carothers

"I found this book to be an invaluable tool for international donors, policymakers, and practitioners, as it gives clear and concrete illustrations of the factors which enhance or impede the fostering of sustainable democracies especially in postconflict situations."—Ron Gould

"This important book will be appreciated by those pushing for building peaceful, democratic political processes in a number of countries around the world, as well as those grappling with providing technical support to such efforts and those engaged in policy debates concerning how to best use bilateral and multilateral assistance to enhance such efforts."—Patrick Merlo


On the Humanitarian Times list of the Top Ten Books of 1998!

With the resolution of intrastate conflicts in Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia, and with new hope for the peaceful settlement of many still-existing conflicts, attention is turning to the issue of “free and fair” elections. This book examines the nature of postconflict (transition) elections, as well as the role of the international community in supporting them.

Within a shared analytical framework, the authors focus on the planning and conduct of elections in eight countries, the technical and political success of those elections, and their consequences for the democratization process. They also address specifically the design, management, and evaluation of international assistance programs.


Krishna Kumar is senior evaluation adviser in the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, US Department of State. His recent publications include Rebuilding Societies After Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance.


  • Introduction—L. Garber.
  • Postconflict Elections International Assistance—K. Kumar.
  • El Salvador: From Reactionary Despotism to "Partidocracia"—E.A. Baloyra.
  • Nicaragua's Measured Move to Democracy—R. López-Pintor.
  • Nicaragua's Second Elections—J. McCoy.
  • Haitian Elections and the Aftermath—S. Nelson.
  • Cambodia's Rocky Venture in Democracy—F.Z. Brown.
  • Elections and Democratization in Post-Mengistu Ethiopia—J.W. Harbeson.
  • Angola's Failed Elections—M. Ottaway.
  • Mozambique's Vote for Democratic Governance—J. M. Turner, S. Nelson, and K. Mahling-Clark.
  • Peace and Elections in Liberia—T. Lyons.
  • Participation of Refugees in Postconflict Elections—D. Gallagher and A. Schowengerdt.
  • After the Elections—K. Kumar.
  • General Conclusions and Priorities for Policy Research—K. Kumar and M. Ottaway.