Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Elections in post-conflict societies

Reilly, B. (2004) Elections in post-conflict societies. In: Newman, Edward and Rich, Roland, (eds.) The UN role in promoting democracy: Between ideals and reality. United Nations University Press, New York, pp. 113-134.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (138kB)
Free to read:
*No subscription required


Elections have become an integral element of many UN peacekeeping missions over the past decade. The reason for this is clear: the focus of most UN missions has shifted from one of pure peace-building to one of state rebuilding or, in some cases like East Timor, state creation. In such cases, elections provide an inescapable means for jump-starting a new post-conflict political order; for stimulating the development of democratic politics; for choosing representatives; for forming governments; and for conferring legitimacy upon the new political order. They also provide a clear signal that legitimate domestic authority has been returned – and hence that the role of the international community may be coming to an end. For all of these reasons, elections have become a central part of many UN peacekeeping missions. In addition, electoral assistance outside peacekeeping missions has become something of a growth industry since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ‘‘third wave’’ of democratization have led to a threefold increase in the number of putatively democratic governments around the globe.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: United Nations University Press
Copyright: United Nations University
Publisher's Website:
United Nations SDGs: Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year