It has almost become canon law within the academic and policy circles that post-conflict elections can end armed conflicts, usher in democracy and development by demilitarizing politics.
The policy practice so far seems to suggest there is an inherent trade-off among conflict resolution, stability and democratization. This policy approach seems to emphasis strengthening the technical aspects of the election process, without due attention to the preceding political and institutional context to the elections and how to manage the election results.
Consequently, most post-conflict elections merely reflect the military asymmetries of conflicts that preceded them. The direct policy implication of this approach has been that, most often when conflict situations have stabilised, the international community disengages, only for violence to resume later.
Using the example of Côte d’Ivoire this policy brief explores an alternative policy option that is grounded in a comprehensive approach aimed at stability and peace concurrently.