How dangerous can violence be for elections?

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This thesis researches the effect that violence has on electoral integrity. From 2015 onwards, the Sahel region in Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced an increase in terrorist attacks from various jihadist groups. Theories disagree on the impact that violence has on electoral integrity of elections. Some argue that post-conflict elections cause peace and democratization. On the contrary, others argue that violence has a negative effect on electoral participation and the legitimacy of the regime. This thesis researches the effect that the increased terrorist attacks had on the electoral integrity of the 2020 presidential elections in Burkina Faso as a single case study. This Sub-Saharan country is selected because shortly before the terrorist groups entered the region, Burkina Faso faced many protests which led to a failed coup and eventually a regime change in 2015. These post-conflict elections were regarded with optimism, nonetheless these positive sentiments were short-lived since a couple months later the first terrorist attacks became a fact. Existing theories are yet unclear about the impact that violence may have on the electoral integrity in post-regime change Sub-Saharan countries that face the threat of terrorism. This thesis uses both a simple and a multiple linear regression to statistically analyze the impact of violence on the electoral integrity.
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