Globalization has helped hundreds of millions to escape poverty, but it has also increased inequalities within countries and reduced the power of national governments. What was once hailed as a boon is now increasingly regarded as a threat. Unfortunately, the institutions best placed to counter such forces are being challenged. Party membership, voter participation and trust in politicians are declining in both new and well-established democracies.
In 2010, International IDEA and the Kofi Annan Foundation convened a group of distinguished experts and leaders to form the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy, and Security, which presented its landmark report in 2012. This report identified several causes of electoral instability and made recommendations to address these issues, which in turn lead to the establishment of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Electoral Integrity Initiative. The Initiative works to address the political challenges that undermine elections, as detailed in the recent publication of an updated summary of the Deepening Democracy report.
The Electoral Integrity Initiative also works to counter specific threats to democracy through a series of technical policy briefs. Following the launch of our most recent policy paper in Washington D.C., we are pleased to present Elections and Peacebuilding: Why the timing and sequencing of transitional elections matter. This brief will be disseminated and discussed at a public event in Chatham House, London on 4 May 2017.
The EII’s goal is not simply to campaign for democracy, but to concretely help countries address the major challenges that stand in the way of elections with integrity. This policy brief brings us one step closer to deepening democracy in transitional governments around the world.