Three outcomes of contentious elections

Richard W. Frank*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Elections are contentious by design, but contentious election outcomes - from democratic backsliding to widespread protests and violence - occur regularly and represent significant challenges to both domestic and international stability. This review essay explores three specific outcomes of contentious elections (i.e., failed democratization, democracy protests, and election violence) using three recent, influential books on these topics. It highlights several, overlapping causal mechanisms, including those focusing on structural characteristics, actor behavior, and election cycle dynamics. It also explores four cross-cutting themes (i.e., democratization, electoral history, structural constraints, and money in politics), as well as three areas for future research (i.e., overlooked actors, election integrity, and international factors).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1144-1163
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Studies Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


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