Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Liam Anderson (Committee Member), December Green (Committee Chair), Laura Luhrmann (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Since joining the 'third wave' of democracy in the 1990s, African countries have focused on elections. Some leaders conduct elections to legitimize their authoritarian rule. Many of Africa's transitional democracies are associated with flawed elections and violent conflicts. The literature on electoral conflict places little emphasis on election governance. It is my assumption that the high rate of non-credible elections in Africa can be associated with election management that has exacerbated societal cleavages. Is an effective and independent election management body a necessary prerequisite for election results to be credible? Are credible elections correlated with lower levels of conflicts? Kenya and Ghana, with their parallel experience with electoral conflicts, are compared to determine if the level of effectiveness of an electoral commission is strongly correlated with the conduct of credible elections and consequently a reduced propensity for election-related conflicts.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded