Developing More Inclusive Politics Through Sub-national Electoral Processes

13th December 2019
Author: William Avis

This helpdesk report provides an overview of lessons on developing more inclusive politics through sub-national electoral processes. The report notes that support to sub-national electoral processes is often embedded within broader initiatives to support democratisation, decentralisation and electoral reform. Although well-timed elections can contribute to conflict resolution and help to consolidate peace agreements or power-sharing deals between elites, they also have the potential to exacerbate latent or simmering hostilities. The evidence reviewed in this report indicates that the content and inclusiveness of pre-election dialogue between former combatants; the timing and sequencing of elections; the strength of electoral and security institutions; the choice of the electoral system; and the independence and conduct of the electoral administration and observers are key variables. However, in relation to supporting sub-national political entities, the evidence is mixed.

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Suggested Citation

Avis, W. (2019). Developing more inclusive politics through sub-national electoral processes. K4D Helpdesk Report 722. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


13th December 2019


Continent: Global