Electoral Violence in the Western Balkans : From Voting to Fighting and Back book cover
1st Edition

Electoral Violence in the Western Balkans
From Voting to Fighting and Back

ISBN 9780415788366
Published July 26, 2017 by Routledge
232 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Since the end of the Cold War there have been a number of cases where the democratization process has been turbulent, or even violent. Addressing electoral violence, its evolution and impact in the Western Balkans, this book explores the conflict logic of election and tries to understand its basic patterns. Two decades of electoral competition in the region are analysed to identify an interesting evolution of electoral violence in terms of forms, actors, motivations and dynamics.

By identifying the potential drivers of electoral violence and explaining the escalation and stimulus of violence-related events, the author combines a theoretical approach with original data to emphasise the variability of the phenomenon and its evolution in the region.

The book will appeal to students and scholars of post-communist Europe and democratisation processes and the Western Balkans in particular. It should also be of interest to political advisors and those involved in developing or implementing democratisation programmes.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 – From Violence to Electoral Violence

Chapter 3 Contexts of Electoral Violence

Chapter 4 – Patterns of Electoral Violence

Chapter 5 – Recipes for Electoral Violence in the Western Balkans

Chapter 6 – Conclusion 

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Dr Michal Mochtak is a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Political Science, Masaryk University. His research interests cover hybrid regimes, electoral violence and conflicts. He published his papers in Terrorism and Political Violence, Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Democracy and Security or World Political Science. He is one of the co-authors of the publications Challenges to Democracies in East Central Europe (London, New York: Routledge 2016) and Demokratizace a lidská práva. Stredoevropské pohledy (Brno - Praha: MUNI Press – SLON 2013 and Krakow – Brno: Osrodek Mysli Politycznej – Uniwersytet Masaryka 2016). He regularly lectures on transformation processes and political violence in Central and Eastern Europe. See more www.mochtak.com.


"Recent research has shown elections in a positive light – they are moments when democratic actors have an opportunity to defeat authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian rulers. Michal Mochtak, however, sheds light on a darker side of elections, their potential to provoke conflict and violence. This book provides nuanced arguments grounded in both data and qualitative fieldwork that will help policymakers to not only predict when electoral violence is going to occur, but also prevent it from happening." - Andrew Roberts, Northwestern University, USA.

"This comprehensive study of post-Communist electoral violence in the Western Balkans is a welcome addition to the literature which has tended to focus on Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is a salutary warning to optimists who expect strong external interest and support for democratic practices to ensure a smooth transformation to democracy." - John O’Loughlin, University of Colorado, USA.

"A must-read book for anybody interested in qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). In this insightful and empirically enormous work, Michal Mochtak explains why electoral violence emerges in some places and does not in others. This book generates both reflection and desire to research." - Julián Cárdenas, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.